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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Despite the great scientific potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), there are various challenges arising due to rise of AI. Discuss (250 words)

    14 Dec, 2022 GS Paper 3 Science & Technology


    • Start your answer by briefly describing Artificial intelligence.
    • Discuss the benefits and challenges of Artificial intelligence.
    • Conclude by suggesting some measures to resolve its challenges.


    • Artificial intelligence could be described as the action of machines accomplishing tasks that have historically required human intelligence.
    • It includes technologies like machine learning, pattern recognition, big data, neural networks, self-algorithms etc.
    • Example: Neuralink a budding start-up company co-founded by Elon Musk that is working on Artificial Intelligence integration with the human body. They have developed a chip which is an array of 96 small, polymer threads, each containing 32 electrodes and can be transplanted into the brain, where a person could both record brain activity and potentially stimulate it.
    • Further, the impact of Artificial Intelligence on human lives and the economy has been astonishing. Artificial Intelligence can add about $15.7 trillion to the world economy by 2030.


    • Benefits of Artificial Intelligence:
      • In Policing: India still has a conventional policing. AI based products open a new window of opportunity to do predictive policing in India. With the help of AI, one can predict the pattern of crime, analyze lot of CCTV footage which are available across the country to identify suspects.
        • Government is digitizing all the records, especially the crime records putting it into one single place called CCTNS where all the data including the image, biometrics, or the criminal history of a convict or suspect is available.
      • In Agriculture: It has many uses, for example, it can help sense one how much water the crop needs.
        • For solving complex issues like efficient utilization of available resources.
      • Analyzing the Data: The AI technology helps in analyzing data and thus can improve the efficiency of the systems like power management in cars, mobile devices, weather predictions, video and image analysis.
    • Challenges:
      • The Bias Problem: The good or bad nature of an AI system really depends on the amount of data they are trained on. Hence, the ability to gain good data is the solution to good AI systems in the future. But, in reality, the everyday data the organizations collect is poor and holds no significance of its own.
      • Access to Data, Knowledge, Technology: In an interconnected world, a small number of companies are collecting vast amounts of data - access to this consolidated data would allow an accurate replay of anybody’s day-to-day life in terms of activities, interactions and explicitly stated or implicitly identified interests; somebody (or something) could know our mobility history and patterns, or anything of anyone’s mundane life pattern.
      • Privacy: The right to privacy is under threat, obviously considering the possibility of unauthorized access to one’s online activity data. But even in the case of an offline user — somebody who has deliberately decided to stay ‘disconnected’ — the right to privacy is still under threat, like a disconnected user moving through a ‘smart city’.
      • Technological Unemployment: This is unemployment which is ‘explained’ by the introduction of new technologies — i.e. the jobs replaced by intelligent machines or systems.
        • There will be significant changes in the workforce and the markets —some roles and jobs will become obsolete, industries will be radically transformed, employment models and relationships will be redefined.
      • Security: Security is a critical aspect — if somebody compromises a smart system, for instance an autonomous car, the consequences can be disastrous, particularly given the ever-increasing cyber security threat.
        • Access to Lethal Autonomous Weapons:
          • In a military context this autonomy in decision-making becomes scary – the Lethal Autonomous Weapons which refer to advanced robotic systems of the future, will be capable of hitting targets without human intervention or approval.


    • AI technological revolution brings great opportunities for prosperity and growth — but it has to be ensured that the technology will be applied and used in the right direction.
      • In this regard, some steps are already being taken in different parts of the world, like Explainable AI (XAI) and the ‘Right to Explanation’ which allow understanding the models used for artificial intelligence (and how they make particular decisions — which is also required by the European Union GDPR — General Data Protection Regulation).
    • It can also be said that AI may suffer from what is known as “AI effect” or the “odd paradox”— AI brings a new technology into the common fold, people become accustomed to this technology, it stops being considered AI, and newer technology emerges.

    Thus, we can conclude that the growth of AI and AI based applications should not be halted but its growth and usage should be monitored and regulated at various levels respectively.

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