Is the dependence on technology moronising a generation of Indians? At least Rajiv Malhotra, Founder of Infinity Foundation and author of Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power believes so. A speaker at TNIE's ThinkEdu Conclave 2021, Malhotra was in conversation with Author and Senior Journalist Kaveree Bamzai.
"Artificial Intelligence is making machines smarter. What is not well known is that people are becoming dumber. They're becoming more dependent on Google Devta," said Malhotra, adding, "People think that a person with more views and tweets and followers (on social media) will be the definition of truth. The traditional sources of authority are not important to this generation. They have outsourced the criteria of truth to social media."
Touching upon the algorithm that runs social media, he said that the machine figures out what one likes and doesn’t like, based on a user's clicks. "I call this the modernisation of the masses. People have outsourced their agencies. People have started running their lives on autopilot," he said.
Explaining why his book says that the Indian public is "highly moronised", he said that the perfect "moron" will let Netflix decide what movie he must watch and a network figure out whom he should date or where he should go on vacation. "It is a dream come true for digital marketing people, digital politics, digital ideological warfare... all of them using AI as a weapon," he said.
While he says that the millennials are the most affected by the phenomenon, he agrees that his generation has left behind "a very messy world for the next generation".
Malhotra said that Indians are so far behind in the fundamental principle of AI. "Yet, when you go to these companies, you will find a lot of Indian brains. But they are not working for India. Even Sundar Pichai is an employee at the end of the day," he said.
But who is responsible for this? He holds the politicians, industrialists and the likes of the RSS activists accountable. He asked how the ones who talk about being the keepers of the Rashtra haven’t thought about AI for the last ten years.