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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : Many elections, AI’s dark dimension

 

      

Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Science and technology, Artificial intelligence(AI), Generative AI, Big Data, GANs, ChatGPT1 tool, DALL.E2 etc
  • Mains GS Paper III and IV: Significance of technology for India, AI, indigenisation of technology and development of new technology.

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Elections are scheduled to be held in as many as 50 countries across the globe including India, Mexico, the United Kingdom (by law, the last possible date for a general election is January 28, 2025) and the United States.
  • The rapid development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) models suggests that we are at an inflection point in the history of human progress.

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Artificial intelligence(AI):

  • It is a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.
  • It describes 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.
  • g: Facebook’s facial recognition software which identifies faces in the photos we post, the voice recognition software that translates commands we give to Alexa, etc are some of the examples of AI already around us.

 

Generative AI:

  • It is a cutting-edge technological advancement that utilizes machine learning and artificial intelligence to create new forms of media, such as text, audio, video, and animation.
  • With the advent of advanced machine learning capabilities: It is possible to generate new and creative short and long-form content, synthetic media, and even deep fakes with simple text, also known as prompts.
  • Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) will transform into Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), which can mimic the capabilities of human beings.
  • It will dramatically improve the standard of living of millions of human beings.
  • Negative impact: AI would undermine human values and that advanced AI could pose ‘existential risks’.

 

AI innovations:

  • GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks)
  • LLMs (Large Language Models)
  • GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformers)
  • Image Generation to experiment
  • Create commercial offerings like DALL-E for image generation
  • ChatGPT for text generation.
    • It can write blogs, computer code, and marketing copies and even generate results for search queries.

 

Impact of AI on elections:

  • Generative AI, provides dynamic simulations and mimics real world interactions).
  • AI models such as ChatGPT, Gemini, Copilot are being employed in many fields.
    • AI’s newer models could alter electoral behaviors and verdicts as well.
  • Generative AI could impact the electoral landscape this time as well.
    • What might not happen in 2024, may well happen in the next round of elections, both in India and worldwide.
  • Pew Survey: It indicates that a majority of Indians support ‘authoritarianism’.
    • Employing AI could well have a field day in such a milieu to further confuse the electorate.
  • Deep Fake syndrome appears to alter elections and lends itself to newer and newer techniques of propaganda
    • Confusing and confounding the electorate.
  • AI technology makes it easier to enhance falsehoods and enlarge mistaken beliefs.
  • Disinformation is hardly a new methodology or technology, and has been employed in successive elections previously.
    • sophisticated AI tools will be able to confuse the electorate to an extent not previously known or even envisaged.
  • The use of AI models to produce reams of wrong information, apart from disinformation, accompanied by the creation of near realistic images of something that does not exist, will be a whole new experience.
  • AI deployed tactics will tend to make voters more mistrustful
    • It is important to introduce checks and balances that would obviate efforts at AI ‘determinism’.
  • The recent inaccuracies associated with Google is a timely reminder that AI and AGI cannot be trusted in each and every circumstance.
  • The public wrath worldwide over Google AI models, including in India, for their portrayal of persons and personalities in a malefic manner, mistakenly or otherwise.
    • These reflect the dangers of ‘runaway’ AI.

Implications:

  • Nations increasingly depend on AI solutions for their problems.
    • It tends at times to make up things in order to solve new problems.
    • These are often probabilistic in character and cannot be accepted ipso facto as accurate.

The main types of adversarial capabilities, overshadowing other inbuilt weaknesses are:

  • Poisoning: that typically degrades an AI model’s ability to make relevant predictions.
  • Back dooring: that causes the model to produce inaccurate or harmful results
  • Evasion: that entails resulting in a model misclassifying malicious or harmful inputs thus detracting from an AI model’s ability to perform its appointed role.

Ethical Issues with AI:

 

 

Way Forward

  • The dangers associated with AI pose a greater threat than harm arising from bias in design and development.
  • AI systems tend to develop certain inherent adversarial
    • Suitable concepts and ideas have not yet been developed to mitigate them, as of now.
  • Elections apart, India being one of the most advanced countries in the digital arena, again needs to treat AI as an unproven entity.
  • While AI brings benefits, the nation and its leaders should be fully aware of its disruptive potential.
  • India’s lead in digital public goods could be both a benefit as well as a bane, given that while AGI provides many benefits, it can be malefic as well.
  • There are significant challenges to AI policy, but a dearth of democratic voices and the tendency to surrender the policy process around AI to a handful of tech companies need to be extended.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

What are the different elements of cyber security ? Keeping in view the challenges in cyber security, examine the extent to which India has successfully developed a comprehensive National Cyber Security Strategy.(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)