A book, ‘The Power of Future Machines’, was launched in the Hindu College’s Sushila Devi Auditorium in Delhi on Tuesday by Infinity Foundation of India and Bharat Book Club.
At the event, the co-editors of the book, Rajiv Malhotra, TN Sudarshan, and Manogna Sastry were present along with guests and several authors including Lt Gen PJS Pannu, Major General (Retd) Lav Bikram Chand, Raj Kumar Sharma, as well as Col Manik Anand, PO (AS), Ministry of Defence.
The book includes nine chapters with topics like “The Winner of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Takes It All: India’s Role in the Battle for World Dominion", “The Impact of AI on Freedom of Speech: Examining the Problem of Bias in Content Moderation", “Artificial Intelligence for National Security" and “AI-MING for a Theory of Everything."
It is a collection of expert essays that talks about the future impact of Artificial Intelligence (Al) in various fields. The experts engage and discuss the potential effects of Al in this book while sharing their unique perspectives with the readers.
Additionally, the essays talk about how Al will influence policymaking, both in specific fields of expertise and its impact on mankind as a whole.
Sastry, who is currently the Team Leader, Research, at Infinity Foundation India, told News18 that it took more than 2 years to complete this book, which is now available on Amazon. Meanwhile, Sudarshan, who is a computer scientist and specialised in AI, as well as related technologies, stated that about 100 authors, from India as well as abroad, shared their views through the essays included in the book.
On the back cover, Lt Gen PJS Pannu, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Former Deputy Chief of Indian Integrated Defence Staff (Operations), who was present at the launch event, wrote: “Threats devoid of emotions in hu-machine (a combination of human and machine) would need careful responses and regulating mechanisms."
“Those who do not care to adapt shall be first recipients of such intimidation … the greed for speed will encounter a pushback by nature. Humans need new definitions of … hope, compassion, and happiness to program machines of the future," he added.
During the launch, several key guests shared their views on the usage of AI. While talking about the book, Major General (Retd) Lav Bikram Chand highlighted that if AI is not used responsibly, it can destroy any individual or even a nation. He said: “Even though it is enlightening, at the same time it is also very scary."
Malhotra, who is a researcher and computer scientist specialising in AI, dived deep into the concerning factors of such technological advancement.
One of those concerns highlighted by the tech expert was the “Digital Caste System".
He said: “You should stop thinking about the traditional caste system as a whole new caste system is coming which is based on new criteria of who controls the algorithms, who has privacy, who is being manipulated without even being conscious that they are being manipulated and who is being denied rights to access various things."
According to him, only a few people at the top of some companies control these algorithms. They set the criteria of what is true and false and what type of ideology to support.
While talking about military and defence, he said that not taking the AI weaponry strategic advantage seriously can be very costly at a time when India is “10 years behind China".
“There are a few things that are related to AI such as quantum computing which allows breaking all the security codes. So there is a race between the US and China to see who can do it for having an advantage even for a short window in which they can do a lot of mischiefs," he highlighted.
One particular concern has been raised during this event which is the bias of AI. Malhotra specifically talked about ChatGPT being biased and when he spoke to the people behind OpenAI, they said that “your culture can help it in training to make it ok".
While stating his argument, Malhotra said: “If you don’t train it, it will continue to have that bias, and if you train it, you are doing the free service of training their algorithm, making it smarter to know you and the more it knows you, the more it will know how to manipulate you."
The problem according to the tech expert is that India doesn’t have its own platforms such as an operating system, language model, search engine, and social media. So these gaps actually show that while Indians are more dependent on some other companies’ services, there is a risk of compromising the data of the citizens.
“The issues are very large and complex. So to take it forward we need more people talking about the risks and we will continue doing more work highlighting these issues," he noted.
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