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Threat of AI Displacing Jobs is Real, Says Telecom Secretary

On aggregate, the employability for new-age jobs is on average 1.7 per cent, showed the findings based on more than 170,000 Indian engineering students

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"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.

While digitisation has delivered great benefits to the country, the threat of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) displacing jobs is real, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Monday.

“Adoption of digital technology has proved to be a great democratiser and leveller in India, especially in doing away with many hierarchies in the Indian economy. But digital is also throwing up as many challenges. There are no easy answers to them,” Sundararajan said, while delivering the keynote address at a conference on “future of the digital economy” here.

“There are various estimates about the rate at which jobs are becoming irreverent – from 10 per cent to a high of 70 per cent. So this threat is real,” she said while referring the rise of AI.

With dangers of job losses looming large, can providing universal basic income be the answer?

“The idea of providing universal basic income is gaining ground because a lot of Silicon Valley leaders are pushing for it,” she said.

Participating at a separate panel discussion, Sanjeev Bikchandani, Co-Founder of Info Edge which runs the job portal Naukri.com, said that there will be no large scale job losses due to AI.

AI has the potential to increase India's annual growth.
AI has the potential to increase India’s annual ggrowth.Pixabay“Some jobs will definitely go. But this happens all the time with new technology arriving. Similar questions were raised when computers were introduced in India. AI will create new industries,” he said at the conference co-organised by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and Data Catalyst, a non-profit organisation.

 

But do Indians have the skill set for the new jobs that may be created by the new industries?

According to a new report released last week by job skills assessments company Aspiring Minds, over 80 per cent Indian engineers are unemployable for any job in the knowledge economy.

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A mere three per cent engineers have new-age technological skills in areas like AI, Machine Learning, Data Science and mobile development, the report said.

On aggregate, the employability for new-age jobs is on average 1.7 per cent, showed the findings based on more than 170,000 Indian engineering students. (IANS)

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Researchers Develop AI Algorithm That can Solve Rubik’s Cube in Less Than a Second

According to the researchers, the ultimate goal of projects such as this one is to build the next generation of AI systems

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Researchers have developed an AI algorithm that can solve a Rubiks Cube in a fraction of a second, faster than most humans. The work is a step toward making AI systems that can think, reason, plan and make decisions.

The study, published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, shows DeepCubeA — a deep reinforcement learning algorithm programmed by University of California computer scientists and mathematicians — can solve the Rubik’s Cube in a fraction of a second, without any specific domain knowledge or in-game coaching from humans.

This is no simple task considering that the cube has completion paths numbering in the billions but only one goal state – each of six sides displaying a solid colour – which apparently can not be found through random moves.

“Artificial Intelligence can defeat the world’s best human chess and Go players, but some of the more difficult puzzles, such as the Rubik’s Cube, had not been solved by computers, so we thought they were open for AI approaches,” said study author Pierre Baldi, Professor at the University of California.

“The solution to the Rubik’s Cube involves more symbolic, mathematical and abstract thinking, so a deep learning machine that can crack such a puzzle is getting closer to becoming a system that can think, reason, plan and make decisions,” Baldi said.

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“Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society.” VOA

For the study, the researchers demonstrated that DeepCubeA solved 100 percent of all test configurations, finding the shortest path to the goal state about 60 per cent of the time.

The algorithm also works on other combinatorial games such as the sliding tile puzzle, Lights Out and Sokoban.

The researchers were interested in understanding how and why the Artificial Intelligence (AI) made its moves and how long it took to perfect its method.

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“It learned on its own, our AI takes about 20 moves, most of the time solving it in the minimum number of steps,” Baldi said.

“Right there, you can see the strategy is different, so my best guess is that the AI’s form of reasoning is completely different from a human’s,” he added.

According to the researchers, the ultimate goal of projects such as this one is to build the next generation of AI systems. (IANS)