Yet another public personality has spoken about the pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence. This time, Infosys co-founder and celebrated corporate thought leader NR Narayana Murthy has gone on record to say that AI was “more of a hype than reality” and that “worrisome” for freshers in the Information Technology sector.
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Speaking at an event titled Mood Indigo at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), Murthy said, “There is this whole thing about automation and artificial intelligence. That is much more hype than the reality, at least in software services.”
Admitting that the IT sector was going through a “rough patch”, Murthy criticised the astronomical salary hike that the senior management of some companies were allegedly allotting themselves.
“I think that is not the way to make capitalism acceptable to the larger masses in a country that has huge poverty. If we believe in capitalism, if we believe that is the best solution for the country to move forward, then the leaders of capitalism will have to demonstrate self-restraint in apportioning to themselves part of the benefits that come out of running companies,” Murthy said.
Murthy is only one in a long string of influential personalities who has sounded the alarm bells regarding automation, artificial intelligence, and its effect on employment. Recently, US’ former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said that millions of jobs would be on the line if automated machines and applications were implemented on a large scale. Clinton had quoted the example of driverless cars and had explained, “What are we going to do when we get driverless cars? It sounds like a great idea. And how many millions of people – truck drivers and parcel delivery people and cab drivers and even Uber drivers – what do we do with the millions of people who will no longer have a job? We are totally unprepared for that.”
While many noted names such as physicist Stephen Hawking and Tesla and SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk have already sounded alarm bells with regards to Artificial Intelligence and its potential harm, there are others who don’t concur.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and futurist Ray Kurzweil are some of the famous names who believe that AI can actually do more good to the humans than harm.
Kurzweil, who currently runs a group at Google writing automatic responses to your emails in cooperation with the Gmail team, had once famously said, “It was fire that kept us warm, cooked our food, but also burnt our houses down. Technology is always a double-edged sword.”