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JLF Panel Examine The Future Of AI

The panel also explored the impact of AI through the example of the popular debate on the use of driverless cars. 

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AI has the potential to increase India's annual growth.
AI has the potential to increase India's annual growth. pixabay

“In 50 years, we’ll probably have a robot conducting this session,” said author Anupama Raju in her opening comments on Monday at the session “The Future is Now” in the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), giving voice to an increasingly popular concern: will robots take over the world, our jobs and life as we know it?

A panel of eminent technologists Meredith Broussard and Toby Walsh was in conversation with Raju on the concluding day of the Festival.

“Scientists work within the envelope of the dreams that writers tell us,” said Walsh, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) professor, stating that the world is now waking up to the ideas that have been explored by science fictions writers such as Isaac Asimov for over 50 years.

Data journalism professor Broussard said that Hollywood has “coloured” our perception of AI with movies such as “The Terminator”, which portray robots as “evil machines that take over humanity”.

Having helped 1.7 million people around the world gain mobility with the famous Jaipur Foot, the organisation is now embarking on a mission to develop an affordable artificial hand, its founder D.R. Mehta has said.
Jaipur Foot and US are collaborating to develop an artificial hand. Pixabay

She called the fictional narratives “interesting but far from reality”, stating that there is “very little to fear” about AI.

Walsh argued that the real concern with AI is actually its “incompetence: We are giving decision making ability to machines that are not capable of making choices that are fair and meet the values of the society we’d like”.

Walsh, who has written “2062: The World that AI Made”, however, batted for the greater rationality of machines over humans.

“Humans are terribly irrational,” she said.

Broussard argued that computers, limited by their ability to merely executing what they are programmed to do, would “discriminate by default: The world is racist and sexist and has all kinds of social and economic inequality”.

Agreeing that AI doesn’t have an opinion and simply reflects the values of the people who build it, Walsh said that using computers to make a fairer world would certainly require immense prudence and hard-work.

“It’s the same as how chemistry makes the world a better place if we think carefully about not over-fertilising our soil or using nuclear bombs.”

The enterprise solutions major has integrated SAP CoPilot with the "SAP S/4HANA" Cloud.
“A tectonic shift is happening in AI. Nearly 85 per cent of enterprises globally will use AI in some form or the other by 2020.

The panel also explored the impact of AI through the example of the popular debate on the use of driverless cars.

Walsh said that driverless cars would help save millions of lives, be economically beneficial by reducing transportation costs, prevent truck attacks by terrorists, and free people to do more productive tasks than driving.

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Broussard, author of “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World”, was admittedly “sceptical”.

Narrating an incident where she almost got killed by a driverless car, she explained, among other issues, how such cars’ “image-recognition algorithms could be easily defeated”, thereby resulting in accidents.

The JLF concludes later on Monday evening. (IANS)

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Microsoft to Channel $10 million Into an AI project

The new five-year programme has these core areas: people, places, languages and historical artifacts

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Microsoft, AI, Project
The fourth pillar to Microsoft's $125-miilion AI for Good programmes -- called AI for Cultural Heritage. Pixabay

Following multi-million programmes that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Earth, accessibility and humanitarian action, technology giant Microsoft will now channel $10 million (nearly Rs 68 crore) into an AI project that focuses on tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

The fourth pillar to Microsoft’s $125-miilion AI for Good programmes — called AI for Cultural Heritage — was announced on Thursday by the company’s President Brad Smith.

The new five-year programme has these core areas: people, places, languages and historical artifacts.

It “will use AI to work with nonprofits, universities and governments around the world to help preserve the languages we speak, the places we live and the artifacts we treasure,” Smith wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft, AI, Project
technology giant Microsoft will now channel $10 million (nearly Rs 68 crore) into an AI project that focuses on tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Pixabay

He identified certain areas in New York where they are exploring how AI can make The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection accessible to billions of people on the Internet.

In the Parisian museum Musée des Plans-Reliefs, the company seeks to create an entirely new museum experience that pays homage to Mont-Saint-Michel, a French cultural icon.

Also on the list is Mexico, where Microsoft is preserving and translate the Yucatec Maya and Queretaro Otomi languages using AI.

“These projects have given us confidence that we can put AI to innovative uses that can help communities expand access to culture and explore new perspectives and connections through shared experiences,” said Smith.

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The tech company also said that while it’s their business to advance technology, “technology should respect and even help protect the world’s timeless values”. (IANS)