General Studies Paper 2

Context: The growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and their deployment has raised questions about privacy, monopolisation and job losses.

Why AI is not a threat for the society?

  • Technological change improves aggregate productivityOutput of society also goes up. People today are better off than they were because of technology.
  • There is nothing special or different this time around with AI. This is just another round of machines being used to increase productivity.
  • The primary risks emerging from AI happen to be the same risks with other digital technologies, like how political systems integrate those technologies.
  • Some AI based systems are already operational and have been used for some time. AI is used today in facial recognition in airports in India and by law enforcement agencies.
  • The human mind has general intelligence. They are able to think from scratch and be able to try to solve a problem. Machines don’t know what to do.
  • ChatGPT is just one big, glorified database of everything that has been written on the Internet.

What are issues related to the regulatory system to deal with the privacy and competition threats arising from AI?

  • One important question in the field of technology policy in India is about checks and balances. There are questions related to the kind of data the government should own and its surveillance powers over us.
  • There is also one big concern about the use of modern computer technology and its impact on our lives.
  • There is also a need for laws for the deployment of AI­ -based systems to comply with the Supreme Court right to privacy judgement for specific use cases such as facial recognition.
  • A lot of police departments and State governments are using this technology. It comes with error rates. This may result in exclusion, harassment. So, there needs to be a level of restraint.
  • The government should pay greater attention to the conversations happening in Europe around AI and the risk assessment approach.
  • The presence or absence of competition in this field is not cause of worry. On a global scale, there are many players. OpenAI and Microsoft collaborating on AI. Facebook is also building in this space. Google also has a big presence.
  • This shows the extent to which technical dynamism generates checks and balances of its own. ChatGPT has raised a new level of competitive dynamics around Google Search.
  • Indians are spectators. When it comes to issues such face recognition, nobody else is going to solve it for us. India is a poor country where regulatory and state capacity is very limited. So, the work done here will generally be of low quality.
  • The tech landscape is dominated by Big Tech. They have a computing power advantage, a data advantage, and a geopolitical advantage.
  • It is possible that the pre existing firms like Microsoft, Google, Meta may deepen their domination in AI.

How India ‘s handling of AI can be compared with China’s authoritarian use of AI?

  • China has built a Chinese firewall and cut off users in China from the Internet. The people connected with the ruling party in China get monopoly powers to build products that look like global products.
  • They steal ideas and then design and make local versions in China. But it also comes at the price of mediocrity and stagnation. They’re just copying things and not at the frontier. It will not lead to the development of genuine scientific and technical knowledge.
  • So far in India, there is decent political support for globalisation,integration into the world economy and full participation by foreign companies in India. Economic nationalism is not yet a dominant impulse here. So, there is fundamental superiority in the Indian way.

Will AI completely replace all existing jobs?

  • There should be focus on theword ‘productivity’. It’s good for society when human beings produce more output per unit hour as that makes us more prosperous.
  • People who lose jobs will see job opportunities multiplying in other areas. The labour market does relocation of jobs every day.
  • There were 1­2 million jobs operating an STD ISD booth in India. Then mobile phones came and there were apprehensions that millions of people would lose their jobs. In the end, the productivity of the country went up.


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