AI impact: From N Chandrasekaran, Arvind Krishna to Brad Smith, know what these tech titans said
Technology leaders say that AI can enhance productivity, but they have urged that the development of AI must happen in a responsible manner.
Artificial intelligence is being looked at in two ways globally. It is a great opportunity to boost productivity across the spectrum of human activity, but at the same time, this new tech has the potential to hurt humanity, and even cause its extinction. Caught in between are the developers who are actually working out the potential and how much they can milk it for profit. In this situation, a number of tech leaders have gathered in New Delhi to attend the B20 Summit India 2023 organised by CII.
Technology leaders have spoken at length on Friday and the gist of their speeches indicates that they think AI can enhance productivity, but they have urged policy-makers that the development of AI must happen in a responsible manner.
IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna said AI can free up people for more productive work and reduce cost for businesses.
The impact of AI on techies can be phenomenal. He said coding can be improved by about 60 per cent by using AI assistance.
"Inside IBM, we think about 20 per cent of the total activity, which we call lower order cognitive work, about 30 per cent of that can be easily made productive through AI. That frees up more people to do more value-added work. It's not that there aren't jobs. If you have productivity then you can access way more clients. You can provide things at a lower cost point," Krishna said.
"There are a bunch of activities under it, I call them more mundane, could be automated but are hard to do so. Whether it be about promoting people, whether it is about assessing people, those can begin to be done by AI. In our case we are doing 90 per cent of that through AI," Krishna said.
He said the actual invention of foundation models, large language models, and building together computer infrastructure do need people with those incredible skills.
Providing a glimpse into the ground reality, Krishna added, "We are happy to have them but we don't need everyone else".
Talking about India, Adobe, Chair and Chief Executive Officer Shantanu Narayen said with 46 per cent of the worldwide digital payments, billion people with Aadhaar card and 850 million smartphone and internet users, India presents a massive opportunity to be at the forefront of AI.
Narayen heaped fulsome praise on what India had achieved as a country in the tech field.
"I am a massive fan of digital infrastructure that India has built...it is infrastructure, it is skills, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship," Narayen told PTI.
Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran said India and many countries in Global South have problems providing access to services to their people.
"An estimated 300 million lack access to services like healthcare, education and sometime ago for banking. On the other hand we have a lot of people looking for jobs. There are 10-12 million people coming to the workforce every year. We need to solve both problems. The only way to solve these problems is by adopting technology at scale that has never been done before," Chandrasekaran said.
He said that in the last 10 years, India has put in digital infrastructure through which it has been able to deliver service at scale with ease.
"We have got to figure out a way of embracing AI in such a way that we can innovate faster and protect privacy," Chandrasekaran said.
Microsoft President and Vice Chairman Brad Smith said wherever he goes, people say that mistakes done in the case of social media should not be repeated in AI development.
"I think it's fair to say that everybody, not just the companies that were involved in it, say the biggest social media sites, perhaps became a little too euphoric about the good thing that social media will bring to the world without thinking of the risks as well," Smith said.
He said the Arab Spring saw one side of social media and it was different at the time of the 2016 US Presidential election.
"We need to be excited about the opportunity but thoughtful, perhaps even concerned about the downside and we need to construct guard rails from the outset as industry, as company and as governments and countries," Smith said.