Artificial Intelligence: Risks and Benefits


By Dr. Michael W. Fox ( From Animal Doctor syndicated newspaper column May 2023)

DEAR DR. FOX, I would like your response to the Artificial Intelligence answers that some of my questions to ChatGPT. These answers were generated by when I asked questions…..I did not edit any of the answers.

Does human meat consumption harm wildlife and biodiversity?

Reducing or eliminating meat consumption can have a positive impact on wildlife biodiversity in several ways. The meat industry contributes to habitat destruction, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, which all have negative impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity. First, the production of animal feed requires large amounts of land, water, and energy, which often involves clearing natural habitats such as rainforests and grasslands. This destruction of habitats can lead to a decline in biodiversity, as animals lose their homes and food sources.

Second, livestock production is a significant source of water pollution due to the discharge of animal waste into waterways. This pollution can harm aquatic life and the ecosystems that depend on them.

Finally, the meat industry is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which are driving climate change and have negative impacts on wildlife and ecosystems. Climate change can cause habitat loss, alter migration patterns, and increase the spread of invasive species.

By reducing meat consumption, we can reduce the demand for animal agriculture and decrease the negative impacts on wildlife biodiversity. However, it is important to note that eliminating meat entirely may not be feasible or desirable for everyone. Still, reducing consumption and choosing more sustainable and environmentally friendly meat options can help protect wildlife and biodiversity.

What is the meaning of One Health and how is it put into practice?

One Health is a concept that recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. It emphasizes the need for collaborative efforts between human health, animal health, and environmental professionals to achieve optimal health outcomes for all.

The practice of One Health involves the integration of knowledge and expertise from various fields to address health issues that affect multiple species and ecosystems. For example, a One Health approach may be used to study the impact of climate change on the spread of infectious diseases, such as Lyme disease, which affects both humans and animals. It may also be used to prevent zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, by monitoring and controlling disease outbreaks in animals before they can spread to humans.

One Health is put into practice through interdisciplinary collaboration, communication, and coordination between human health, animal health, and environmental professionals. This involves sharing data, resources, and knowledge to develop integrated strategies for disease surveillance, prevention, and control. One Health also involves educating and engaging the public, policymakers, and other stakeholders about the importance of this approach to achieving better health outcomes for all.

Can dogs’ diets be plant based?

Dogs are omnivores and can survive on a plant-based diet, but it is important to ensure that their nutritional needs are met. Dogs require nutrients such as protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, which can be obtained from both animal and plant-based sources.

If you are considering a plant-based diet for your dog, it is recommended that you consult with a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that your dog’s nutritional needs are being met. They can help you formulate a balanced and complete diet that meets your dog’s specific needs.

It is also important to note that some dogs may have specific health conditions that require a diet with certain nutrients or that may make a plant-based diet unsuitable. For example, dogs with certain medical conditions such as pancreatitis or kidney disease may require a specialized diet that is not plant-based. Overall, while dogs can eat a plant-based diet, it is important to consult with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist to ensure that your dog’s nutritional needs are being met.

P.S., San Francisco CA

DEAR P.S., My initial reaction is that this is all plagiarized from my own writings on these issues! I do not mind being up-staged or replaced by AI provided this new source of information is put to good use. A plant-based diet for dogs may actually help prevent pancreatitis and kidney disease!

I am concerned about misuse, as with every technology; and about the energy needed for data storage and transmission along with associated electropollution hazards. The precautionary principle should not be over-ridden by the profit motive or other means and ends, especially for disinformation purposes. Also, the interfacing of the human bioelectrical field with the electrical fields of AI delivery, monitoring, surveillance, and diagnostic systems raises health-safety issues which need to be addressed. Some forms of non-ionizing radiation and electromagnetic fields can affect physiology, brain function, development, and behavior. (For details see The element of social media addiction which can elevate brain dopamine may be compounded by AI.

In his Mercola Health Newsletter, Dr. Mercola posted this opening salvo waring against AI on April 8th 2023: “ How Artificial Intelligence Could Destroy Human Civilization ChatGPT, the most rapidly adopted tech platform in history, will clearly become an integral part of the globalist control grid. Shortly, it and other chatbots will replace conventional search engines, giving you only one ‘correct’ answer. But that’s just the beginning of the nightmare AI could unleash.”

I do not share such fear-mongering technophobia and question if we yet have a civilization, especially regarding how other species are treated by Homo sapiens. This self-anointed title of “Man the wise” speaks to our arrogance which AI may help rectify. Intelligence is universal and universalizing, in every living cell and all our relationships.

Human freedom and justice and animal liberation will come when we unshackle ourselves from human-centered religious fundamentalism, imperialism and their gods created in man’s own image; from the persecuting judgementalism of moralists; the materialism of mammonists and arrogance of scientific determinism. All these are cognitive states evidencing degrees of empathy-deficit disorder.

Empathic sensitivity is our best template and foundation for bioethical sensibility which could be incorporated in the emergent properties of self-learning AI. As I detail in my book published by the State University of New York press Bringing Life to Ethics, this can lead us to embrace equalitarianism and reverential respect for all life; not just human life, that we need to dedicate to serve and even sacrifice for the common good and the good of the Commons. Our emotional intelligence will help ensure the benefits of AI outweigh the risks. and help support the bioethical bases for the philosophy and praxis of One Health.