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Indian Express

10-November-2023

1) India, US and the AI bridge

Context:

  • The need for a more thorough and intensive conversation on artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more apparent as the US and India’s foreign and defense ministers convene in Delhi to further their defense and security alliance.
  • Recent events, such as President Biden’s Executive Order on AI and the Pentagon’s revised AI deployment policy, highlight the necessity for both nations to successfully handle the benefits and difficulties posed by AI.

Geopolitical Context: US-China Rivalry and Concerns

  • The US-China geopolitical divide is becoming more pronounced, underscoring the importance of AI in both economic and military contexts.
  • The US and India are both concerned about Beijing potentially obtaining an advantage in the use of AI.
  • The Pentagon’s plan emphasizes the incorporation of AI into military doctrine and operations, whereas President Biden’s Executive Order concentrates on safeguarding the civilian applications of AI.

US Initiatives and Defense Perspective: Decision Advantage

  • With regard to AI, the Biden administration’s Executive Order seeks to establish new benchmarks for equity, privacy, safety, security, civil rights, and global leadership.
  • The Pentagon’s approach highlights the value of AI in giving the US military services a “decision advantage” concurrently.
  • Kathleen Hicks, the deputy secretary of defense, emphasizes how artificial intelligence (AI) may quicken decision-making while enhancing its precision and quality.

China’s AI Ambitions: Intelligentized Military

  • There’s a big problem with China’s aspiration to create an “intelligentized” force, which goes beyond “informatization,” as it was previously.
  • By utilizing its advantages in civil-military fusion and state capability, China has made significant strides in the adoption and development of AI.

Imperatives for India-US Engagement: Four Key Points

  • Technology Cooperation: Cooperation in advanced technology is crucial, as demonstrated by the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies, which was established in January. Given the speed at which AI is developing, India and the US should refresh their partnership in this area.
  • Defense Partnership: AI’s place in national security plans is critical as both countries work to create a stable power balance in the Indo-Pacific. One promising avenue for a fruitful AI collaboration is the defense innovation bridge that is now being developed between the US and India, especially in the space sector.
  • Talent Pool and Collaboration: The US’s ability to advance AI development is hampered by a lack of scientists, technicians, and engineers. This shortfall can be filled by India’s natural talent pool, which makes cooperation in training, research, and education advantageous. For more intense AI cooperation, the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies’ current framework can be enlarged.
  • Responsible Development: The proper development and application of AI is emphasized in both the Pentagon’s plan and the Biden Executive Order. In order to solve the ethical, sociological, and defense-related issues surrounding AI, cooperation between India and the US in advancing responsible local and international governance of AI is essential.

Way Forward: Addressing Challenges and Maximizing Opportunities

  • In light of shifting geopolitical dynamics, the India-US dialogue on AI during the 2+2 meeting is essential to addressing the problems AI presents, seizing its opportunities, and fortifying the strategic alliance.
  • The focus on responsible development and governance is in line with both countries’ aims in using AI to advance society and the military.

2) Monitor With a Problem

Context:

  • In a recent historical move, the Jammu and Kashmir police demanded bail in a terror financing case using a wearable tracking gadget with GPS capabilities.
  • This action has drawn attention and sparked debate on the validity of such technology as well as its consequences for those who are charged.
  • Even if GPS trackers are being used in India in a way never seen before, it is important to consider both their advantages and disadvantages.

Unexplored Reliability Issues: Experience from Other Jurisdictions

  • The unusual nature of the Jammu case has dominated the discourse, casting doubt on important issues pertaining to GPS technology’s dependability.
  • Other jurisdictions’ experience has shown that GPS trackers have inherent limitations and can make mistakes.
  • These problems could have unexpected repercussions for those who are accused, casting doubt on the readiness of Indian law enforcement to deploy this technology efficiently.

Limitations of GPS Trackers: Sky Visibility and Network Conditions

  • GPS trackers need a strong cellular network and an unhindered view of the sky in order to communicate with satellites. Studies show that optimally sized cities produce superior outcomes.
  • Signal quality, however, can be hampered by things like structures, vegetation, and meteorological conditions.
  • Accuracy problems can occur when exposed to water or when left motionless for a long time.
  • The reliance on ideal conditions presents difficulties in India’s varied and dynamic environment.

Empirical Research Challenges Assumptions: False Alarms and Inaccuracy

  • Ankle monitors are a sort of GPS tracker about which there are assumptions that are challenged by empirical study, notably from the University of Chicago.
  • According to the study, low signal quality on ankle monitors makes them very prone to false alarms, which makes it difficult for monitoring staff to distinguish between real warnings.
  • Problems with battery life and possible malfunctions highlight how untrustworthy GPS trackers are, with dire repercussions for those found guilty.

Global Examples: Cautionary Tales

  • Global instances, like the US case of Kevin Jones, highlight the possible dangers of GPS trackers.
  • In Jones’s instance, he was arrested for breaking his probation while he was asleep due to a broken GPS tracker.
  • These admonishing stories highlight the necessity of giving such technology considerable thought before it is widely implemented in the Indian criminal justice system.

Call for Critical Thinking and Diligence: Fair Trial Rights at Risk

  • The Indian criminal justice system’s failure to critically analyze and discuss technological shortcomings puts fair trial rights at danger.
  • Concerns are raised by the mindless acceptance of GPS-enabled trackers without addressing basic issues with authenticity and dependability.
  • To reduce the risks related to GPS tracker use in India, a careful assessment of technology’s limitations and law enforcement professionals’ ability to use it effectively are essential.

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