For artificial intelligence to flourish, governments need to think ahead about its responsible use

With technology blurring international boundaries, governments need to cooperate and collaborate to put mechanisms in place to manage the power of AI.

Firstpost  •

By Hareesh Tibrewala

In the words of Singularity University founder Ray Kurzweil, "In the 21st century, we won’t experience 100 years of progress, it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate)”. And one key driver for this mind-boggling rate of change, is the use of technology powered by artificial intelligence.

To some extent, "artificial intelligence" is a misnomer. There is nothing really artificial about it. Artificial Intelligence (AI) simply means

So far, the human mind was the fastest known data cruncher, and we prided on calling ourselves an intelligent species as a result. Intelligence is, simply put, the ability to crunch a lot of data and use that to arrive at decisions. Now, for the first time in human history, we will see another "species" – computers – capable of behaving more "intelligently" than we do. This creates its own challenges and opportunities.

AI brings new opportunities, possibilities

The use of AI will lead to exponential innovation, that help solve the basic needs of humanity and eliminate all kind of shortages and help humans live a far more comfortable and longer lives. Some examples

Challenges of an AI-world

Thus, governments need to be thinking ahead, about how best to harness the power of AI and begin putting in place mechanisms and regulations to ensure its responsible use. This thinking has to happen not only at national government level but also at a global level. With technology connecting people across the world in one big, interconnected village, it is important that governments across borders start cooperating and collaborating for mechanisms and processes to manage the power of AI. It will be important to ensure no single entity – be it a corporation or country – is allowed to misuse the power of AI for global supremacy.

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.

If there's one thing we can take away from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the power of information sharing, collaboration and pre-defined protocols. If governments across the world had collaborated to share information about the coronavirus, and had pre-approved protocols in place for an event like this (shutting borders or the sharing of intelligence on vaccine efforts), we wouldn't have seen the situation escalate to the one we're finding ourselves in.

It is commendable that the government of India has shown the foresight and vision to bring conversation around artificial intelligence in the public domain. Irrespective of political affiliations, there is no denying that this government demonstrates a high level of alertness around the use of technology for bringing around social change – be it is the Jan-Dhan Yojna (to weed out middle men) or the Aadhaar card (to link financial transactions and minimize tax evasion). Responsible AI can have a positive impact in almost every facet of social change – education, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing or infrastructure.

India, on account of its large IT industry, can be a leader, not only in providing AI solutions to the world, but also leading the global political dialogue around responsible AI.

The author is the joint CEO of Mirum, India.

Tags:#AI #AI applications #AI for social good #artificial intelligence #COVID-19 #ML #Responsible AI #SciTech #Tech2Feature

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