World leaders like Putin to exemplary scientists like Elon Musk have warned about Artificial Intelligence. Here's why India might lose if a World War happens due to AI.
Artificial Intelligence has been the talk of the town ever since Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla’s Elon Musk exchanged a war of words over its potential. Other than that several world leaders have expressed their concern over the capabilities of an AI system in the near future. Meanwhile, on September 4, Musk tweeted that countries which grow their superiority in Artificial Intelligence will rule the world and the competition might lead to World War III. He said that Russia, China and more countries are the biggest contenders. This statement came after Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking to school children, said, “Whoever becomes the leader in this area will rule the world.” As a response, Musk tweeted, “It Begins…”
Not only then, there have been other famous personalities who have expressed their opinions and concerns on the subject. Chinese Premier Xi Jinping had reportedly said: “Artificial intelligence will wipe out more than five million jobs in the world by 2020, requiring adherence to the principle ‘AI for the people, by the people’.” These statements are also in like with what Alibaba’s Jack Ma had noted. He said, “AI is not only a massive threat to jobs but could also spark World War III.” Even the world’s most famous cosmologist, Stephen Hawking recently said, “I’m not afraid of black holes. AI is another story.” He is already known to have given many statements expressing his doubts over the developments being made in the field.
But in a developing country like India, the concerns with AI have been different till now. There are major concerns regarding automation of jobs. While a World Bank report had said that 69 percent of jobs are under threat because of AI. Another HfS Research report said that a huge number of low-skilled force will go extinct in the IT sector alone. While there is some innovation going on in various fields like e-commerce, education, and even agriculture, most of the practical work has been dull.
In the meantime, China has been investing huge sums in state of the art research labs with cutting edge technologies. But in India, there are too few places where deep learning is taught or being worked upon. Interestingly, when we talk about AI, the US is the first country to come to our minds. The companies in the Silicon Valley in partnership with world’s top universities are working on R&D day in and day out. But Musk’s recent statement also brings to light the name ‘Russia’. While Russia seems to be an underdog in terms of technology, only that it is not. In fact, the bigger concern is why is its AI research so hidden from the limelight? It is not that, Russia is not working towards it, just that it is bad at commercialising the advances. But experts in the field have written a lot about the studies going on in the country. A company like Yandex has been investing heavily in the country and as a result, it is a more popular search engine than even Google. State sponsored media reports have already started writing about the potential use of AI in the military, both in Russia and China.
China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 4, 2017
Having said that, it may not be necessary that the countries and world leaders are equipping themselves with AI weapons in case of a war. But Musk puts it the best: “May be initiated not by the country leaders, but one of the AI’s if it decides that a preemptive strike is the most probable path to victory.”
Meanwhile, a PwC report said that AI could contribute an additional $15.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2030. The report adds that a large part of that will go to China and the US. So, will India miss out on the Wave? With the kind of venture capital poured in India, and the relatively slow pace of advancement, quite likely so.