The challenge of AI

Source: The post is based on the article “The challenge of AI” published in Business Standard on 23rd May 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Artificial Intelligence

Relevance: concerns with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

News: The rapid emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) software has led to a widespread debate across the world on its potential impact on the economy and security.

What are the potential impacts of AI on economy and security?

Economy: Generative AI with a substantial creative capacity will impact the current employment levels in software and business-processing services because the services they sell can easily be done by AI-based programmes.

AI also provides a tool for less proficient workers to narrow the gap with more able ones. For example, a worker with poor English-language skills could use AI to become as useful as an English language-educated worker.

Security: There are many security challenges like – a) AI-powered surveillance systems could infringe on privacy rights, b) AI-automated cyberattacks and c) AI-powered weapons to target and attack humans. AI can also deepen the impact of fake news, fake voices and hacking.

Moreover, AI based drones can be made to attack a particular type of target, where the drones would be free to choose a specific target that meets the programmed criteria.

However, any such effect of AI can only happen with human interventions because AI software lacks human type of judging skills to evaluate situations and make decisions accordingly.

Must Read: Generative AI (Artificial Intelligence): Benefits and Challenges – Explained

What can be done to control the misuse of AI?

There has been growing consensus on establishing a regulatory regime for creating and using AI. For instance, the G7 proposes to set up a Working Group for this purpose and the EU is on the way to formulate regulations.

Countries are also looking to regulate the basic design of AI apps to control the risks of misuse. However, if this is done, then AI can be misused for political gains.

For instance, China has introduced controls on AI development which involve prior official approval of AI apps before they are released and also require them to ensure consistency with the “core values of socialism”.

Therefore, this type of politicization should be avoided because the internet remains the strongest base of our freedom and democracy.

What should be the stand of India on AI?

India must work to build local competence to develop AI because it is the technology of the future.

However, the foundation of the main part of AI is a language model. This poses a major challenge for India in developing AI because it is a multilingual country.

Moreover, AI services require very large server systems and it is emerging technology. Therefore, India should get involved in industry because this will improve the chances of India in holding a significant presence in the AI market.

What lies ahead?

AI will have the same impact like the computer age that liberated us to focus on a higher level of intelligence activity but also exposed us to anonymous frauds.

Hence, the main task is to prepare our children for the huge opportunities AI provides and ensure that the risks are kept manageable.

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