June , 2020
TuriyaTalks Season 2 Episode 1
18:21 pm

B.E. Bureau

How are Indian companies trying to implement A.I today?

Ans: I would not restrict myself to Indian companies. I would refer you to Ramcharan’s book ‘Attacker’s Advantage’. He says most companies which are successful today, have a mathematical algorithm or AI algorithm. When people think of A.I they think of robots, moonwalkers and so on and so forth. But if you split down A.I, at the basic arc of it is the ability of a machine to learn itself. When the computer started off in the 1940s and 1950s, it was a dumb computer. But today, the question is can it learn on its own? Can it give out mathematical algorithms? Can it give out data?

 If you look at the stock market dialling in the US for what they call the FANG – Facebook, Apple, Netflix & Google – All of them have an algorithm as their central thesis. Most organisations today are run on algorithms, if not entirely, definitely some parts of it are. Banks for example have an algorithm which can tell you about the customer satisfaction. Then, if we look at stock trading, it is another algorithm by itself – they look at their debt equity, ratios. So, loads of organisations are taking to algorithms. 

Will the development of A.I be aggravated by the impact of COVID-19?

Ans: It’s a very good question. The lockdown actually allowed me to read to Alan Greenspan’s autobiography, ‘The Age of Turbulence’; it’s a very good read. Let’s talk about the times after 9/11 when the World Trade Centre collapsed. Those who remember history will remember that the dot com human bust just happened before the incident. So, what happened was that there was almost a lot of investment on technology, so what happened was that after the WTC collapsed ad then when the world came up, and the economy came up. On coming back to the current situation, we see that technology was always there. And, its usage has gone up due to COVID. But it’s invention hasn’t. We are yet to see any invention because of COVID. 

The advent and development of any technology are associated with the progress of society collectively and making lives easier. However, there is a prevalent fear about AI present amongst people, concerning the number of jobs that could be lost. What do you have to say about this? 

Ans: The advent of technology is going to change the way any job is done. And that has been there through the ages. First, we had fire and then we had locomotives. when you didn’t have the mobile phones, we had the STD. I still remember in my college days when I had to come home, I had to stand outside the STD booth and had to wait for four or five people to finish calling. All of us used to be calling after nine o'clock at half the rate. There has been a huge change since. Obviously, algorithms will cause change; algorithms will cost pay. Today what is happening is that there is no field is there a pure play human intervention or a pure player algorithm. Algorithm have invaded us. let me give you an example of stock trading; there are algorithms which are the back and give you what are the stocks, what is the shoulder patterns what is that as day trading. So, it's a partnership between the robot and the man. 

Similarly, if you look at agricultural obligations, drones are very common now. You send out a drone and get a lot of pictures and now you see these pictures and say, okay this

particular area requires locusts. So, once again you need a partnership between the Robo which is the drone - which is sending back pictures - and the human.

So, the jobs will not go away but what will happen is it will change from skilled-based to knowledge-based. You need to understand what sort of an output is being given by the algorithm and how to make use of this output. To that extent there will be a shift. It will be a sort of move where the number of jobs created will require the use and understanding of technology. Let’s take doctors for examples. We may have an algorithm to monitor the blood-pressure, sugar, thyroid levels. But it will require the understanding of doctors to understand that and then give him medications accordingly. It’s a sort of partnership, you see. 

When we talk about technology and the impact of it in society I think we have to also talk about biotechnology so sir if you can throw some light on what are the sub latest developments in biotechnology in relation to prevention from the corona virus that has intrigued you as a as an expert?

Ans: The planet Earth came into being some four thousand five thousand million years back. For almost about two thousand three thousand million years there was no life. Following that, then there were two instances which made life possible. One is around thousand million years back when water started coming and then about six hundred million years back, you've got oxygen, so then came what they call the Cambrian exposure.

As the number of species is spread through in the water and then these species came on and one of these species became her father's the monkey the gorillas and so like that there are

Two technology trends that have actually defined us both of which happened around the nineteen forties one is the advent of digital technologies and the second one is genetics. Mankind has always been intrigued by this fact as to how one gets his or her father’s or mother’s features?

Today we look for the X-X and the Y-Y chromosomes and all those things but that did not happen till 1958 and a guy called water Crick Watson and Crick who got the Nobel Prize nineteen discovered the entire mechanism of the DNA and the gene. So, today if you look at biotechnology, I would mention wonder drugs for example if you take statin as a wonder drug - it has stopped so many heart attacks; it has saved so many families. 

What are the some of the key concerns of biotechnology regarding human healt and bio diversity according to you?

Ans: Today, if I want to create a replica of myself, I possibly could create it, but is it ethical?

I don't know. If somebody wants to design a baby, maybe he could create it. But how ethical is it? Isn't it going back to the Nazi philosophy of creating the perfect? So those are certain ethical dilemmas that can govern the entire aspect of inheritance and genetic inheritance. 

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, and many other big names in science and technology have recently expressed concern in the media and via open letters about the risks posed by AI, joined by many leading AI researchers. What are the biggest threats posed by AI according to you?

Ans: I would say the biggest threat is the mind shift. See you're not going to be able to stop technology – yes, you can delay it from coming - you can make the curve drop down. But you can't stop the infection. So the biggest threat as I see is your feeling of being irrelevant.

The whole aspect of being authentic and you mentioned how the old concepts of Skilling is actually not relevant anymore could you explain a little bit about -how does what is it moving forward? (30:00- 32:07)

 When you say authentic, let it start with personal choices. Whatever I have personal choices I think you know the digital has taken away the process. If you need to be clean about your choices either not talk about them or if you talk about it and just be honest about them. Number two everybody can see that they have made a mistake. I think many public figures have won empathy and sympathy and votes by saying yes we made a mistake. Number three you know you don't try to if you are weak in a particular time and you know it.  You are a leader it's better you acknowledge that you are weak in that particular dimension and strengthen yourself by together part of a team which then helps you to take the agenda forward for the people of a company or for institution which you are. I think that's a much better rather than trying what you're not. So I think that is not something which will work well. 

 What does it mean really for the employer to show concern and to respond to all these changes the technology is bringing about and yet protect the firm? (32:48-35:37)

 I think once you explain the reason to the individual why you’re asking him to do what he needs to do I don’t think that the individual will refuse to do it. The second is you need to be able to communicate very frequently with all your colleagues. For example we had this individual of ours who had retired and we made sure that a cake was delivered to his home and we had given a gift to his home and we had an Webex meeting where all of us gather because he was an old-timer who spent 27 years in the company and it was really needed to make sure that COVID-19 don't rob him off his farewell party. Similarly you know there are some individuals will be celebrating anniversaries and we need to ensure that they feel wanted. I think we need to communicate more than before especially running this thing unnecessary I mean here in the office we can walk out or somebody's desk and say hey you don't look so good, whatsup? We can come out for a coffee and things can be discussed but these things at home are not possible. You need to take time to communicate to them and say everything through all means like emails, chats etc. 

what is the knowledge based approach that you could recommend to societies? (36:19-38:45)

There are people who have skills like driving, gardening, they are important, they are our colleagues in society but their jobs can be automated or the guys who work as stock traders will give it effective. This entire thing I was reading in the other day about loss of certain library books discs in every generation that happens accepting it's happening faster than me so what happens how we prepare for them you need to get back to the basics for example you know even if you look at you just look back at statistics we always say Bill Gates in college but they attended high school so if the K to 12 education is where a lot of discipline gets. So there is more taking away from the fact that you need a very robust way to get education whether it be on the sciences whether it be an accounting or because if somebody doesn't understand let's say so that that's why I would say is the change should be mean we have a skill-based we need a really solid education thank you.

 How far are we from the optimum utilization of AI and robotics and in in India particularly? (39:06-41:19)

Robotics is a big word. I'm a fan of history so the word artificial intelligence that was coined in Duckworth where 12 people met in the fall of 1950 and he coined the term artificial intelligence among them were people like  Byron Minsky and other people sort of some in neu-ulm our immensity of however if you look at artificial intelligence as it stands today you make it known in two three four subcultures one of them is machine learning one of these masks language possible third is computer vision all of them put together is robotics so we see AI and Amelia here is already in India because the new YouTube Google Maps you're using a lot of data using machine learning which is nothing but a subset of now when you use YouTube when YouTube using your favourite it is nothing but efficient so obviously there is a set of now coming to robotics we already have for example I already sold software for selling keys company here in and that particular software is going to be used in these which will transport you around any campus ok we don't make so partnership so to that extent you already have a robot right so robotics is only here in inter I would say we are not at the top end of substrate Dirac the Americas and the Japan's and etc of the world but we are not ottoman and we are severe so wipe on the drive

From an upskilling perspective, is AI learning only for people with prowess in coding? Can anyone else master the technology? (41:19- 42:17)

you don't need coding - because today they're machines which go but yes you need to understand your math and you need to understand high school math. So coding is skill coding is going to become almost like a tool like carpentry because they're machines which are going to go okay so to that extent I would say AI is going to be for everybody and everybody can learn It. I learned it from my previous boss. He recommended a couple of books to me and that got me started on here and I found it fascinating so when I can do it I'm sure it's open to you too.

 Can biotech be used to improve the quality of food? (42:30-43:29)

Yeah GM foods is what we have. Of course it has taken a little bit of a rap because we do not know what sort of you know sort of impact it has on the human body but yes a quality of food needs and has to be improved and we have to figure out the safety of having these foods.

what is the scope of careers in biotechnology? (43:30-45:52)

Yeah it is possibly in fact after I finish this and before I finish this a single course called digital net itself and I talked about the impact of genetics and how do you use gene therapy diseases so today we go in sequencing a split down you know project as now we know which genes affect people are today being we are doing the teen treatment only with life for example if a baby has is finite which is fine does it depend yes very painful condition and a life-threatening situation and that there is a gene I think he see two or none of those genes it has to be modified and that is modified using injecting a virus so the gene or with using I know fact always which changes the gene however can you use generating or you know let's say I have diabetes and I can the doctor tell me you know I do a gene therapy for you why don't we chicken next weekend and you can check out and Venice take so I would think biotechnology is a career which is going to be there are going to be two teams in biotechnology one is going to be public health public health has always been career which is which is almost being around because right from that mine when the doll in his study said that coming home studied said that's when epidemiologist are studying the inter if you put TV today there is a lot of chatter about power instant I think that is my technology so there's public health and do private 

What is the impact of AI in marketing (45:52-49:15)

So impact of AI in marketing is not new so if you have been seeing I'm a people Watcher I have been calling so which is considerable and Google is supposed to be the big bad boy Oh dad what am I right forum so in a sense they are supposed to have the monopoly and all that right today if you do create artificial intelligence it's such a big thing in my name specially targeted that without artificial intelligence I doubt whether you can do focused campaign in fact I'm involved in a start-up which looks I'd spend the data is the impact of the data there are places where you are able to get data you know customers I movements on a screen you are able to get data from customers moments in sports they're able to get a whole lot of things which got of you know relate with each other which which help sales people write water-based paint to audit a let me give you a simple example and does an example of 20 years back Walmart is some of the best to us those of you who remember the fateful event of 9/11 I think the first plane hit the towers in about 30 a.m. Eastern which is approximately 5:30 on the vessel and the second plane I think it about so by about 8 o'clock in Arkansas something in Walmart figured that they had an algorithm which was to be written as sophisticated as today but people the Americans expressed grief in a different Fashion they put flags on their cars and backyard to the front yard so moment so they found that oh hey people are buying flags like movies business so what did they do they thought of their changing suppliers and said send us all the American flag and they made a killing the second one was retail store they this store sold both icons and Bureau and in the u.s. you have the child is born I know Papa's are on their own it's not like in India and be found when the father goes to buy a diaper he buys a packet pack of beer maybe you know it's the feeling that he has too many changes the bank of year so what they did want is a product placement they put the diaper than the beer next to each other so you know there are a lot of interesting scenarios 

Can you comment on AI’s inherent Achilles heel of being programmed by humans? Wouldn’t they carry the biases and ethical shortfalls of their “creators”. (49:21-49:57)

Yes Feliz, they do have they do have the biases over a period of time those biases possibly even those biases can be programmed to be removed but today is the prices are to be carried and they will be biases which you'll be carried on and those biases are not dangerous yes there is that weakness as of today it is there but when you talk about genetic programming and things like that maybe yes you can.

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