Delving deep into potential of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power: 5 Battlegrounds” is a game-changing new book by Rajiv Malhotra, analyzing society’s vulnerabilities to the current AI revolution
Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power: 5 Battlegrounds" is a game-changing new book by Rajiv Malhotra, analyzing society's vulnerabilities to the current AI revolution. In an Indian context, this is a one of a kind book, covering critical issues which most leaders and policy makers find uncomfortable, and would prefer to sweep under the rug.
The author starts out by explaining how he scopes Artificial Intelligence. The topic of AI evokes extreme reactions from people some view it as a technological revolution that will usher an era of unprecedented progress and prosperity. Others tend to equate AI with the takeover of the world and of human kind by evil robots. Both these views are insufficient to truly understand what AI is all about. For the author, AI is not only about the underlying technology like machine learning, but also about other cutting-edge technologies and research areas where AI acts as an enabler, amplifying their effectiveness, and turbo-charging research. Thus biotechnology, quantum computing, military research and many other fields, would all come under the broader umbrella of AI.
Artificial Intelligence is the brains bringing together quantum computing, nanotechnology, medical technology, brain-machine interface, robotics, aerospace, 5G, Internet of Things, and more. It is amplifying human ingenuity and disrupting the foundations of healthcare, military, entertainment, education, marketing and manufacturing.
The author covers a wide range of ideas in this book like digital colonization, digital fascism, digital addiction, loss of agency, moronization of masses and so on. The subject is complex, the questions raised are hard and uncomfortable and the answers are not likely to be either easy or acceptable.
The five battlegrounds defined in the book are economy, world domination, agency and free will, metaphysics and India.The author discusses each battleground and analyzes the impact of AI on them in-depth. He calls out economists, social scientists, business leaders and policy-makers for not taking the impact of AI seriously and for trivializing deep issues with national security implications.
The author points out that there is no bottom-up report on the impact of AI on economy from an Indian context. Sensex pundits tow the western corporate line downplaying the grave risks of job losses due to AI based automation and capture of work requiring higher cognitive skills. Most reports on India are based on surveys of Indian corporates who form part of the Sensex economy, and many of them often have their own self-serving interests which guide their positions. The so-called informal sector,which forms a large part of India's economy is for all practical purposes ignored. Moreover socio-economic analyses are often based on western models fitted with Indian data – completely ignoring the ground realities of Indian economy.
In the sections on agency and self, which I believe is the most important part of the book, the author introduces revolutionary new ideas and novelframeworks to analyze the impact of AI on individuality and metaphysics. He explains how people are becoming dependent on digital networks that are enabled by sophisticated machine learning algorithms. These algorithms are creating detailed psychological maps of individuals, different groups, states and nations. These maps are then used to control them in various ways.
A decade ago with the publication of his seminal work "Breaking India", Rajiv Malhotra had managed to galvanize into action a large section of intellectuals, policy makers, and intelligence and defense personnel, and ordinary public. Just as Advaita wakes up people from the slumber of Maya, his book literally shook people from out of their extreme indifference and ignorance, and alerted them to the reality of the different inimical forces trying to and foment divisiveness and balkanize India.
I feel that the book, AI and the Future of the Power, will have a much larger impact than Breaking India, in terms of alerting Indians to the dangers and enemies both within and outside Indian borders, and its potential impact on individuality, freedom and national security. 'Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power' is a must read for those who are concerned about the future of humanity at large and about Indian civilization in particular.