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Need public awareness around AI like polio, cigarettes campaign: Jaspreet Bindra- Republic World

Jaspreet Bindra, Tech Whisperer UK | Image:Republic Business

AI-opportunity: There is a need for ethical guardrails in artificial intelligence which are India-specific, as AI poses a larger transformative opportunity for India than Digital Public Infrastructure, Founder and MD of Tech Whisperer UK Jaspreet Bindra said.

The advent of emerging technologies like GenAI is an opportunity, with extended use cases in healthcare, semi-automatic cars and social networks, Bindra said, but mainstream challenges like deepfakes call for for building public awareness around the subject by the government.

The technology veteran, who has been with the Mahindra Group and Microsoft, added that AI has dual use cases, equating it with nuclear power – which has fantastic use cases, but destructive consequences.

Global Opportunity and Governance

On a macro level, the opportunity produced by this technology is immense, Bindra explained.

“In India, we are sitting on a massive opportunity. So far, US and China are leaders in the AI race, but we have to work on it a third way. India took a lead on IT services, but the bigger opportunity is to follow we did with the UPI, Aadhaar and other digital public infrastructure,” he said.  

Moving on to the threats this technology poses to elections, Bindra said 2024 is the year of elections in three major economies – India, the United States and the United Kingdom (UK). The United States, on the other hand, is pro-industry and for self-regulation.

The dark side of generative technologies, or deepfakes can influence elections, he pointed. This is also because corporations have focused on profits, and reduced teams for enthical regulations.

But in terms of regulation, economies like the India and UK are pro-industry as well as pro-regulation for GenAI, with the EU posing guardrails on corporates to safeguard users.
 
The technology, which saw its advent in 1956, recently came to the mainstream even as Google said it was working on generative artificial intelligence or GenAI since 2013.

Bindra said GenAI is like electricity, since we did not think of it before it was there. 

The transformation of large language models or LLM at scale is leading to transformation, that is faster and simpler.

Challenges to AI

The technologies, that have become a mass phenomenon owing to Sam Altman’s open-sourced technology Open AI making the access of ChatGPT available to all, has posed certain challenges.

These, Bindra elucidated, include job cuts, the impact of deepfakes, as well as fake narratives or misinformation and plagiarism in content.

The New York Times had sued OpenAI in December against copyright infringement, using its articles to train LLMs without permission.

Notably, these technologies have an environmental impact as well, and can contribute to global warming.

ChatGPT emits 8.4 tons of carbon dioxide per year, more than twice the amount that is emitted by an individual, which is 4 tons per year, as per reports.

The immediate challenge, that AI poses is of an autonomous war which can threaten humanity.

AI and Jobs 

Since the beginning of the year, technology companies have been laying off employees and pinning the blame on the advent of AI, which can automate mundane tasks.

But even as major technology companies continue layoffs, Bindra said AI will not take away jobs or threaten humanity, but a human using it will.
He added that several companies are using AI as a garb to shed the workforce.

Moreover, work will change with AI-based work tools. Notably, Google last year had introduced Duet AI in its workspace which uses data from its apps, adds AI functionality to tools like Slides, and allows users to take meeting notes.

The India Opportunity 

According to an Ernst and Young report, the opportunity for generative technologies will generate anywhere from $1.2-1.5 trillion to India‘s GDP in the next 7 years.

“The opportunity is bigger than UPI and Aadhar,” he added, noting that GenAI can be integrated as part of the technology stack like UPI.