15 May 2024 : Daily Answer Writing

Q1) How is Artificial Intelligence making our lives better? Analyze the challenges associated with its use.

(250 Words/15 Marks)

Artificial Intelligence is a group of technologies that enable a machine, computer, or software to act with higher level of intelligence. AI systems emulate human brain’s capabilities of comprehension and decision making.

AI is making our lives better through a wide range of applications in various fields:

  1. Healthcare: Developing new drugs and therapies, accurate and early disease-diagnosis, and personalize treatments for patients.

E.g., App ‘Divyang Roshni’ to detect Cerebral Palsy.

  1. Education: AI enables personalized learning experiences and can improve learning outcomes and quality of education in public schools.

E.g., National Education Alliance for Technology (NEAT) scheme.

  1. Governance:
  2. a) AI-powered systems can address long-standing issues in social welfare programs.

E.g., Better inventory management through machine learning in PDS and FCI.

  1. b) Predictive policing using AI for surveillance, crowd monitoring, observing criminal acts, etc.

E.g., PAIS (Police artificial intelligence system) of Punjab Police.

  1. Smart Homes: AI-driven devices like smart thermostats, lights, and voice-activated assistants improve home automation and energy efficiency. These technologies make homes more comfortable and convenient.
  2. Disaster Management: AI can predict onset of disasters and analyze vulnerability of habitats; can help in building disaster resilience and minimizing loss of life and property.
  3. Generative AI is creating intuitive, decentralized internet through web 3.0 technologies.

E.g., automated generation of legal petitions reduces bureaucratic paper work.

However, there are following challenges associated with the use of AI:

  1. Privacy: AI requires massive data; pervasive access to one’s personal life can endanger privacy of individuals.
  2. Unemployment: AI could threaten low-income desk jobs (cashier, accountants etc.); a large number of skill-sets could become irrelevant in future.
  3. Inequality: Labor-evasive use cases for tech giants and rich people could reduce trickle-down effect and increase wealth concentration.
  4. Resources: Inadequate budgetary allocations, low private investment and poor R&D spending is a major hurdle in harnessing the potential of AI.
  5. Authoritarianism: Control of government over data and public systems can result in creation of a big brother state empowered by AI.

Following measures can help address these challenges:

  1. Update legal frameworks and regulations to address challenges such as privacy, intellectual property and cybersecurity.
  2. Adapting regulations and policies as necessary vis-à-vis new developments in the field; Regularly monitor and evaluate technological advancements.
  3. Collaborate with industries to develop voluntary codes of conduct and self-regulation mechanisms.

E.g., responsible AI practices and digital ethics like standardized documentation, disclosure of AI-generated content etc.

  1. Invest in indigenous research and development to impart fairness in AI and design solutions for developmental needs and as countermeasures against cyber threats.
  2. Foster international collaboration and cooperation to share best practices, harmonize policies and establish common standards for responsible use of AI.

E.g., Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (RAISE), Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI).

  1. Public awareness initiatives to educate users about the capabilities and limitations of AI for productive use. Create skilling programmes to produce AI-empowered workforce for the digital age.

E.g., ‘FutureSkills PRIME’ initiative, AI for Youth etc.

 

AI has the potential to significantly improve our lives, but it also raises important ethical and societal questions. We need to be prepared to tackle the challenges of the future while maximizing the benefits of AI for the present generation.

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