Artificial intelligence (AI) has been the focal point of a lot of debates in the technology industry. These debates range from ‘The benefits and challenges that accompany AI’ to ‘How AI can help pave the way to the future.’ TiE-Chennai and CAMS recently collaborated to host a discussion on the “Boons and Banes of Artificial Intelligence” with Dr. V Kamakoti as the main speaker. Dr. Kamakoti is a Professor in the Department of Computer Sciences and Engineering, IIT-Madras. The focus of this discussion was to analyze the extent of integration required to ensure Artificial Intelligence functions at an optimum level and how it could improve the efficiency of performing daily tasks.
During his talk, Dr. V Kamakoti highlighted the effect these AI-based technologies have on the way that businesses operate and succeed. He further delved into whether AI would overpower humans in the future – which is a growing concern with rapid advances in AI technology. Conversely, Dr. Kamakoti also spoke about the extent to which AI-based technologies can assist humans in the near future. He foretold that each technology that we see as AI right now would be democratized over the course of a few years.
However, the question about AI overpowering humans has spawned a long-drawn debate. As Dr. Kamakoti puts it, “If AI can solve our day-to-day problems, we will see it as a boon. But if it creates machines that can replace humans and affect their livelihood, we will consider it a bane.” But will all forms of AI intervention be considered a bane? Certain industries that thrive on automation, such as the manufacturing industry, would flourish if the factor of human error is eliminated completely. By introducing intelligent machines to handle mundane and repetitive jobs, AI can speed up business processes and make the entire operation cost-effective. This would boost the company’s bottom-line and improve the opportunity for success.
In the Indian market, however, there is the issue of social acceptance. The recurring argument about this adoption has been the effect it will have on the employability of certain individuals in their current job-roles. While automation has already affected people in the same capacity, adopting AI-based technologies and tools would put the onus on humans to push their thinking forward and take up job-roles that require them to be more human. This would include jobs in psychiatry, counselling, teaching, and other intuition-based jobs. Jobs like manufacturing, coding, and data management could easily be automated and replaced with AI.
Nevertheless, by improving the proliferation of AI-based technologies across the country, we can also ensure there’s a deeper penetration of AI tools. Implementing these practices and making use of these tools can help transform the skillset of our workforce into a more creative or intellectual one. AI systems can perform well-defined mundane tasks at scale in less time. In the current scenario, adopting AI tools and technologies is the need of the hour to drive operational excellence and help businesses succeed.
On a concluding note, Dr. Kamakoti emphasized that the adoption of AI systems and tools can reduce human errors in every industry without removing the human aspect of each action. But this advanced level of automation can, in turn, affect the employability of the nation’s workforce. It is, therefore, critical to find the right balance between the new, ground-breaking technology and existing systems that are currently in place. With humans and AI complementing each other, the economic future of our country can be very bright indeed.