From the Viewsroom

The needless hype around AI

Venkatesh Ganesh | Updated on December 13, 2018 Published on December 13, 2018

AI simply cannot be a perfect replacement for humans

For all the hype surrounding AI, humans must realise that it cannot be a “perfect” replacement for them.

The rise of machines coincided with the rise of lifestyle-related diseases, thanks to the sedentary nature of jobs. As algorithms become more sophisticated and machines learn, humans are likely to become less skilled (try basic oral maths without the help of a machine).

If machines are a perfect replacement of humans, why are Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems (in its existing avataar) so dour? Corporates are particularly gung-ho about AI. They claim it can free up people from mundane work (thereby help them focus on more creative work) and increase efficiencies. This argument may sound logical, but haven’t humans done anything creative before AI made its appearance?

Proponents of AI say everything from crop yields to weather patterns can be made available on a dashboard and decisions can be made in an instant. The assumption is that farmers can reduce their drudgery by using a dashboard to make their decisions.

If farming was so full of drudgery, techies wouldn’t be rushing to the fields during weekends to do farming or home gardening would not have become an industry.

The other argument that all the tasks delegated to the machines will be trivial or repetitive, freeing up humans for more creative endeavours also rings hollow.

This mindless rambling about AI being the next best thing after bread, needs to be thought through. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, earlier this month called for building AI responsibly while avoiding the race to the bottom, amid concerns over the use of technology. While evolution is a natural process, fast tracking it through a bunch of multinational tech giants is certainly not the way to evolve.

Published on December 13, 2018
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