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Concerns Related to High Modernism in AI

  • 12 Jul 2023
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: Concerns Related to High Modernism in AIs, ChatGPT, Artificial Intelligence

For Mains: Concerns Related to High Modernism in AIs, Ethical, social, and cultural implications of AI technology.

Source: TH

Why in News?

The emergence of Giant Artificial Intelligences (gAIs) like ChatGPT has garnered significant attention in recent times. However, there are concerns related to High Modernism in designing these AIs.

What is ChatGPT?

  • ChatGPT is a variant of GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) which is a large-scale neural network-based language model developed by OpenAI.
  • GPT models are trained on vast amounts of text data to generate human-like text.
  • It can generate responses to a wide range of topics, such as answering questions, providing explanations, and engaging in conversations.
  • In addition to being able to "admit its mistakes, challenge false premises, and refuse unsuitable requests," ChatGPT can also "answer follow-up questions."
  • The chatbot was also trained using Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF).

How High Modernism Poses Challenges in Designing AI?

  • About High Modernism:
    • High modernism refers to a top-down ideology driven by a faith in order and measurable progress. It is characterized by an unfaltering confidence in science and technology as means to reorder the social and natural world.
      • It often disregards local knowledge and lived experiences, leading to unintended consequences.
    • This approach, when applied to AI design, can overlook the complexity and diversity of human thought, resulting in biased and incomplete systems.
  • Challenges of High Modernism in AI Design:
    • Loss of Diversity: gAIs are trained predominantly on internet text, which is biased towards certain languages, religions, races, and cultures, risk perpetuating these biases.
      • The lack of diverse training data can lead to language loss and hinder the richness of human thought and expression.
    • Reduction of Local Knowledge: By abstracting away the nuanced knowledge acquired through direct experience, gAIs prioritize the "atlas view" of information available on the internet.
      • This approach neglects local context and the territory-specific insights necessary for accurate and multi-dimensional understanding.

What is the Role of Diversity in Designing AIs?

  • Avoiding Standardization:
    • Lack of diverse AI models may result in standardized, one-size-fits-all solutions that fail to account for regional, cultural, or individual variations.
    • Promoting diversity in AI development can yield multiple perspectives, encouraging innovation and tailored solutions.
  • Improved Understanding:
    • Diversity in AI models helps capture a broader range of perspectives and knowledge, reducing biases and enhancing the models' understanding and response capabilities.
    • It allows for the inclusion of diverse languages, cultures, and experiences, fostering a more inclusive and equitable AI landscape.

What are the Ways to Thwart the Risks Posed by gAIs?

  • Slow Down AI Commercialization:
    • Slowing the pace of AI commercialization allows for democratic inputs and comprehensive discussions about the Ethical, social, and cultural implications of AI technology.
    • This approach ensures that decisions about AI development are not solely driven by profit motives but also consider broader societal interests.
  • Promote Diverse AI Models:
    • Encouraging the development of diverse AI models, each with its own incentives and perspectives, fosters a more robust and inclusive AI ecosystem.
    • Multiple models with different focuses and languages can collectively contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the world.


  • While gAIs like ChatGPT offer remarkable capabilities, their design must consider the risks associated with high modernism.
  • Prioritizing diversity in AI development, fostering democratic inputs, and valuing local knowledge can help mitigate these risks and ensure that AI technologies serve the diverse needs of humanity.
  • Striking a balance between augmentation and preserving the richness of human thought is crucial for the responsible development and deployment of AI systems.

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