AI, Evolving Technologies and Careers in Public Policy 

Session Report Aishiki Chowdhury

On Day 2 of the Careers in Public Policy Workshop, an online monsoon workshop program organized by IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi on 22nd, 23rd and 24th August, 2023 as part of the #WebPolicyLearning series, several distinguished guests including Prof. Mukul Asher, Ms Urvashi Prasad, Mr Sandeep Chachra, Mr Amit Dubey, Mr Yash Agarwal, Dr Devender Singh, Prof Vibhuti Patel, Dr Simi Mehta and Dr Arjun Kumar joined us to offer their valuable insights.

The second day of the Three-Day Immersive Online Introductory Career Counseling & Awareness Certificate Training Workshop involved detailed and illuminating sessions on the emerging dimensions of Public Policy and the role of emerging technologies and innovations in public service. 

Government’s Investment in AI and Quantum Research

Shri Amit Dubey commenced the session by shedding light on the substantial investments made by the Indian government in the domains of artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum research. These investments have bolstered the confidence of researchers in the country and propelled India into the forefront of AI innovation.

The speaker acknowledged the transformative influence of AI in India, provoking extensive discussions about its potential ramifications on employment. He elucidated that AI has become intricately linked with numerous research activities and is disrupting multiple industries across the nation.

Data and Its Crucial Role

The session highlighted the critical importance of data, emphasizing how tech giants like Facebook and Google collect user information to build AI systems capable of influencing minds. The implications of AI in areas such as crime prediction and mind-reading technology were also discussed, revealing the far-reaching scope of AI advancements as well as underlining the vast opportunities that await young minds in the field of AI and its interconnected research activities.

AI’s Potential Impact Across Industries

During a subsequent segment, the speaker delved into the potential impact of AI on various industries. He raised the intriguing question of whether AI could ever attain self-awareness, a topic that continues to fuel debates.

The speaker explained the Turing test, a benchmark used to determine if an AI model can convincingly mimic human responses. He also highlighted the rapid adoption of AI technologies, with chat GPT reaching a staggering one million users in just five days.

Wide Range of AI Applications

Shri Amit Dubey proceeded to enumerate various applications of AI, ranging from AI-generated food and music to AI-assisted beauty contests. He recommended several AI tools, including AI dot Google, AI dot Facebook, and demos.microsoft.com.

AI’s Creative and Disruptive Potential

The session ventured into the intriguing world of AI tools with diverse applications. Mr. dubey introduced tools such as Synthesia, which enables users to alter faces and voices in videos, and Descript.com, capable of cloning voices. He underscored how AI is disrupting industries like publishing, modeling, law enforcement, and HR interviews.

The speaker emphasized that AI can augment human creativity, generate fresh content, and revolutionize various industries. Furthermore, he contended that AI could potentially push humans to harness their cognitive abilities to their fullest potential and cultivate new skills, such as mind reading.

Challenges in Traditional Education Systems

Shri Amit Dubey articulated his views on the current education system, which predominantly emphasizes memory-based testing. He argued that education should be restructured to encourage the development of skills that can compete with AI.

He then expounded upon the impact of AI on the job market, emphasizing the need for individuals to adapt and develop new skills. He highlighted the potential for increased income inequality and the necessity for government frameworks to regulate AI’s integration into the workforce.

AI Tools for Bureaucrats

The speaker offered insights into the utility of AI tools for bureaucrats. He provided an example of how chat GPT was employed to swiftly create an article on quantum computing, which was not only error-free but also garnered positive feedback. During an audience interaction, the topic of AI’s role in bureaucracy was explored. Shri Amit Dubey addressed questions regarding the potential replacement of certain bureaucratic functions by AI, emphasizing the importance of accountability and responsibility. Privacy concerns and data collection by companies like Facebook and Google were also discussed.

AI’s Understanding of the Human Brain

The session also delved into the intricacies of AI systems’ understanding of the human brain. It was clarified that AI comprehends the human mind through language, expressions, and emotions rather than direct access to the brain.

Engaging with Policy Experts

Shri Amit Dubey stressed the significance of engaging with policy experts when formulating regulations. While experts can offer a global perspective and propose efficient policies, policymakers ultimately decide whether to accept or reject these recommendations.

AI’s Impact on Daily Life

The session then segwayed into AI’s integration into daily life, showcasing websites for music creation, drawing, and voice cloning. Questions were raised about AI-generated prosthetic limbs and the challenges posed by policing the metaverse. The need for new guidelines and frameworks to address emerging metaverse-related issues was emphasized.

Metaverse Regulation Framework and Accountability

The speaker emphasized the necessity for a dedicated metaverse regulation framework and accountability mechanisms to address potential issues and ensure individuals cannot evade responsibility for their actions within the metaverse.

The session with Shri Amit Dubey was a comprehensive exploration of the ever-evolving landscape of AI and its multifaceted impact on various facets of society, from education to governance and beyond.

Acknowledgement: Aishiki Chowdhury is a research intern at IMPRI.

Disclaimer: All views expressed in the article belong solely to the author and not necessarily to the organisation.

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Posted by Samprikta Banerjee, Research Intern at IMPRI.