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Source: The post is based on the article “Emerging AI: What awaits us?” published in the Business Standard on 5th November 2022.
Syllabus: GS – 3 – Science and Technology.
Relevance: About the lessons from the chemical revolution to the AI revolution.
News: The chemical revolution started in a small way in the late 18th century, and rose to a peak in the 1960s.
What are the key developments of the chemical revolution?
-Synthetic chemical fertilisers and pesticides came into force in the early 1900s and helped increase food output dramatically and thus served to prevent starvation.
-In the early 20th century, synthetic chemical drugs such as penicillin, and vaccines against measles, mumps, chickenpox, rubella, and hepatitis saved the world from a wide variety of diseases.
-Innovation around the properties of combustion of gases led to the invention of the internal combustion engine and thus the birth of motorised vehicles like cars.
-In the 1960s chiffon sarees made from polyester or nylon became the rage in India.
-The spread of chemical technology was a boom to the manufacturers of toothpaste and washing soaps and liquids and such conveniences of day-to-day life.
–Creative advertising led to the sale of “commoditised” products of the chemical revolution.
What are the impacts of the chemical revolution?
a) The availability of chemical technology was so widespread that manufacturers were unable to differentiate their products on real physical features
b) The chemical revolution slowly faded away to such an extent that anything “plastic” has become synonymous with “pollution”. Thus, demands are made that only “recyclable” plastics be used.
c) The synthetic cloths impacted the cotton textile spinning and weaving mills and created a job loss. In Bombay alone, over 100 cotton textile mills shut down.
What one can learn from the chemical revolution to the emerging AI revolution?
India needs to analyse a) New industries AI will create and current industries AI will demolish, b) Jobs AI market will create and job loss it will reduce, c) Thoughtful policy initiatives for promoting the use of AI.