Asserting that the future belongs to those who lead in technology, an Indian-American Google executive has said that the Indian government should build institutions that would create technologies of the future and also set up a venture fund.
Countries, which lead in technology, are leaders and they solve, generate wealth for the people and take people out of poverty, Navneet Mathur, director, People Operations at Google’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning wing, said ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US later this month.
Modi will embark on his state visit to the US next month on an invitation by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. The US president and the First Lady will also host Modi at a state dinner on June 22.
The future belongs to those who hold the power on technology. Look around, if the US is leading and China is leading and South Korea is leading, and Japan is leading, they’re largely leading because the leadership in the modern day is about technology leadership, Mathur told PTI in an interview this week.
I think he (Modi), as a prime minister, has the power right now to do. And for future prime ministers too, whether it’s him or somebody else, I think that’s what they need to do because we all serve the country, Mathur said.
Responding to a question, Mathur said the prime minister should immediately set up something on the AI front and then invest as the US has done.
He should probably set up a venture fund which can acquire some startups here. Silicon Valley will always be the fountainhead of innovation. Think of a PSU (public sector undertaking) that he can create in this space, which can pay the best and get the best and the brightest to work for the betterment of India, he said.
Setting up the venture funds does not have to be in billions, he said.
You can start with 50 million or a hundred million… You have the workforce there and create a company that works at the forefront. Like why shouldn’t one of the leading AI startups be an Indian startup right now? And the government can play a stake in it, he said.
Artificial Intelligence, Mathur said, is a fundamental shift in how intelligence works.
Algorithms are becoming smarter. Computer capacities are getting smarter. The amount of data that is being consumed is getting much bigger, so their capabilities will far outstrip human intelligence capabilities.
Now, it’s good and bad. Good in the sense that we can deploy that extra intelligence to solve some of the most wrecking problems that humanities face today, like climate change, newer discoveries for medicines, education, and all of that. So we can use it and therefore there will be development around it, he said.
However, there are always other technologies, there are good actors and bad actors. And bad actors will use the same intelligence and technologies for war, for the perpetration of their own nefarious interests. So we need to understand that, technology is moving and it will move and develop, but we need to, as a society, have a view on how do you regulate it, how do you control it, he said.
It is important for politicians from India to understand this.
Because India has its own needs and there are areas in which it’ll help India fight poverty and help solve some societal challenges that we are having. We can use this intelligence to become smarter and do better policymaking,” he said. PTI