Social media spreads rumours, endangers peace: Abel Prize winner

Prof. SR Srinivasa Varadhan was speaking at the Infosys Prize 2020 by the Infosys Science Foundation.

Published: 02nd December 2020 11:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2020 11:50 PM   |  A+A-

social media.

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Express News Service

BENGALURU: We have lost our privacy, our identities are being stolen, the digital space is invaded constantly, public systems -- hospitals, power systems -- are being held at ransom, said Prof. SR Srinivasa Varadhan - Abel Prize winner and Professor, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

He was speaking at the Infosys Prize 2020 by the Infosys Science Foundation (ISF).

Varadhan was talking about the unintended consequences of scientific discoveries, warning scientists to be aware of it and do what they can to minimise the risks. And put the onus of controlling these side effects on societies, governments, international organisations.

Expounding on the scale of the problem, he said, social media spreads rumours and endangers peace, safety and democratic norms in society.

AI started as an inspiration, he said, and now it's a reality where they are gaining control of life steadily-- they can fly the plane you're in.

He warned of the downside of advanced societies -- the use of large quantities of energy -- and the need to obtain that by coal, oil and natural gas and other finite sources.

It is tempting to use the latest scientific discovery to gain an advantage over an adversary, he said, but it's only temporary and the other side will have it soon.


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