Commentary by MTSU Professor on New Technology and Artificial Intelligence

Apr 24, 2023 at 08:35 am by WGNS News

(Murfreesboro, TN) New gadgets and the constant reminder of how today’s technology can help all of us do things faster, better or easier are bombarding all of us 24-hours a day. One MTSU professor says that these new computer gadgets also come with problems involving artificial intelligence. With more, here is Middle Tennessee State University professor of journalism Dr. Larry Burriss…



Commentary Verbatim: “It’s hard to go anywhere these days without being bombarded with new gadgets that will make the delivery of media products easier, faster, brighter or louder.

We are constantly reminded of new home products, we can't possibly live without, that will make our lives easier, faster, brighter or louder.

And right along with all of the new gadgets are dire warnings about the new dangers of artificial intelligence.

But when I read about the dangers of AI, I am stricken by how much they sound exactly like the problems supposedly being brought on by computers and the Internet.

Sometimes, though, I think we need to step back for a moment, and ask ourselves, "What does all of this mean?" What, after all, is the real impact of all of these changes?

Take, for example, the simple case of printing. We think when Johann Gutenberg developed movable type, all he did was allow books to be printed faster.

But with the development of movable type, and the easy accessibility of printed material for the masses, it suddenly became necessary to standardize spelling and punctuation.

Rules for typography had to be established. An entire industry, book publishing, had to be developed, almost overnight.

This was a case of a new technology causing a revolution, not only in printing, but in audiences, economics and law as well. After all, before the wide distribution of books there was no real need for massive censorship.

And what is the impact of all of our new technologies? That is a question we don't often ask, or answer.

Who would have thought, for example, of all of the privacy concerns we are facing because of artificial intelligence. But how much of our private information have we voluntarily given up simply because some techno-company asked for it.

And remember, the surveillance state is a result of the same technology that brought us social media.

Or, just how entertaining is it to watch a really great blockbuster movie on a two-inch screen with ear-buds?

Now, I, too, have my share of electronic and media equipment. Computer, tablet, e-reader, smart television and all the rest. But, like most people, I haven't asked a crucial question: are we running this stuff, or is this stuff running us?

The answer should frighten everyone. - I'm Larry Burriss”

About Dr. Burriss - Larry Burriss, professor of journalism, teaches introductory and media law courses. At the graduate level he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University (B.A. in broadcast journalism, M.A. in journalism), the University of Oklahoma (M.A. in human relations), Ohio University (Ph.D. in journalism) and Concord Law School (J.D.). He has worked in print and broadcast news and public relations, and has published extensively in both academic and popular publications. He has won first place in the Tennessee Associated Press Radio Contest nine times. Dr. Burriss' publications and presentations include studies of presidential press conferences, NASA photography, radio news, legal issues related to adolescent use of social networking sites, legal research, and Middle Earth.

Dr. Burriss has served as director of the School of Journalism, dean of the College of Mass Communication and president of the MTSU Faculty Senate. He was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Board of Regents. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and served on active duty in Mali, Somalia, Bosnia, Central America, Europe and the Pentagon.

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