By Lucas of Venice*
The most recent discussion of tecnologic worldwhich has emerged in recent weeks around Worldcoin, is also beginning to generate noise in the Argentina.
In the last few days the queues in squares and shopping malls of the country with volunteers to join the project of sam altmanthe creator of the artificial intelligence ChatGPT, which offers some 50 dollars in cryptocurrencies (worth subject to fluctuations) in exchange for a retinal scan.
worldcoinin addition to alerting the Justice (at least one investigation was opened in the country), it also awakens a debate on the ethical, labor and sociocultural controversies related to the personal data privacy.
What is Worldcoin
In a world where cryptocurrencies are gaining ground and Artificial Intelligence is transforming and redefining the work landscape, sam altmanthe brain behind OpenAI, presented weeks ago a possible “solution”: Worldcoin.
This cryptocurrency promises to compensate those who join the project. The creative company argues that it seeks to launch a global financial and identity network based on “proofs of humanity”.
The procedure consists of a personal verification that one is truly human and is managed through what they call “The Orb”a powerful digital reader that scans people’s iris biometrics in seconds.
Basically it is a company that certifies human identity in the digital world in exchange for money. The project already has more than 2 million users in beta.
The new cryptocurrency WLDis not only available in Argentina, but in recent days it has been observed, even as a social phenomenon, long lines of people looking to join the length and breadth of the country.
Those registered users can already receive these tokens and exchange them with other users. The company argues that the project was created with the idea of providing a solution to the emerging problems of the rise of AI in the global economy.
But what is hidden behind this business idiosyncrasy? Worldcoin promises to reward those who provide a biometric scan of their iris in its currency. Now, is this proposal a invasion of privacy or a step forward in security and personalization? What would it mean for the future of online identity and anonymity?
Altman argues that Worldcoin could serve as a kind of “universal basic income” for those displaced by the advancement of AI. However, this proposal also raises questions about the value and role of human labor and the real impact of AI on jobs.
Worldcoin: dilemmas, criticisms and controversies
Like so many other new technologies, Worldcoin raises countless debates. Some criticize the idea of exchanging personal data for cryptocurrency, while others question the feasibility of such a solution to the problems AI poses in the workforce. Apparently, work no longer dignifies.
Undoubtedly, Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized numerous industries, optimizing processes, improving efficiency and allowing advances that were previously unimaginable. However, this progress also has its shadows.
Many jobs, especially those that involve repetitive or predictable tasks, run the risk of being automated. In this same discursive line -and at least until the appearance of this innovation- the vision of the technologists or developers had been to complement human action, never replace it.
However, this new development operates as a tacit recognition of human obsolescence since to a certain extent it implies a kind of post-humanist pension, radically changing the focus of things. The AI would confirm the skeptics’ predictions.
While Altman hopes to mitigate some of the negative impacts of automation and AI on the workforce through Worldcoin, the question remains as to how this whole mess is ultimately resolved.
This proposal is placed both as a effective solution like she also flirts with him end of digital anonymity as we know it.
Biometrics, the end of anonymity?
The biometrics It is increasingly used in various fields, from security to healthcare, thanks to its ability to provide unique and verifiable identification. In the case of Worldcoin, by giving the company the iris biometryusers are parting with one of the most secure types of biometric identification in existence to avoid eventual fraud.
The idea of delivering this type of information to a private company raises serious questions about privacy and securityin addition to stressing the existing legal systems due to the lack of normative regulation.
Biometric data is inherently personal and, once compromised, they cannot be changed like a password or a credit card number.
Worldcoin Foundation categorically assures that it will not disclose this information to third parties, except to those involved in or collaborating directly with the project in the future. So, although it has been claimed that the data will be stored securely and not used for other purposes, the risks of possible misuse, a new business partner with different objectives or a hack are legitimate concerns.
As the world continues to evolve and technology continues to advance, AI and cryptocurrency are destined to play an increasingly important role.
Worldcoin can be a controversial proposal, an attempt to respond to the emerging challenges of this new era. Only time will tell if this currency can really offer a valid and fair solution to the problems facing the world. What is certain is that as a society we need reflect around the relevance of personal biometrics and find ethical and legal channels For their develpment.
*Lucas de Venezia is a lawyer (UCA), PhD candidate in Law (UNLZ), Diploma in Law and Artificial Intelligence (Universidad de Salamanca) and undergraduate (UCES) and postgraduate (AMFJN) university professor.