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India has truly embraced ChatGPT

India has truly embraced ChatGPT, with a lot of early adoption and enthusiasm from users, according to OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman.

Altman recounted how a farmer who faced difficulties accessing government services was able to overcome this problem by using ChatGPT through the messaging platform WhatsApp. “We didn’t expect that,” he said at an event held by the Economic Times in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Altman also said it was impressive to see India’s efforts in leveraging national technology as an asset. “India has done it in a way no country has,” he said while speaking of the India stack comprising open application programming interfaces and digital public goods like Unified Payments Interface and CoWin, among others.

On regulating AI, Altman said, “India can play a role going ahead” in shaping the global conversation. He said India could use the upcoming G20 summit to lead the conversation on international regulatory framework for AI. “We are going to really focus on that between now and September and make sure we prioritise that.”

Fear Around Misinformation
Altman, speaking on the dangers of AI, said the world is not far away from witnessing misinformation and deepfakes that look perfect.

“There is lots of fear around how AI is going to impact elections, our society, about the media we see,” he said. “I have some fear there, but as a society, I think we are going to learn very quickly that we don’t trust videos unless we trust the provenance.”

“We will have techniques, watermarking, detectors. If someone is saying something very important, they will cryptographically sign it. Cellphones and web browsers will build in some ability to say whether something is authentic.” Citing the response to Photoshop, he said the society will develop antibodies quickly.”

But Altman said there’s another form that’s not being talked about much.

“It’s not the ability to generate mass media like that, but customised, one-on-one interactive persuasion. I think people are going to be creating AIs that are very good at this. So it won’t just be like this, I am watching a video, it will be like I am chatting and it might be very compelling. That’s a new thing, but again, we will find a way to build societal antibodies. I don’t think it is discussed as much and it’s going to be a challenge.”

AI vs The World?
Altman does not consider the current systems dangerous. “GPT 4 doesn’t present a risk to the world. But people are very bad at thinking about exponential curves, and GPT 10 may be a extremely different thing.”

He said that none of the current AI or GPT systems matter, in the larger picture. “We are on an exponential growth curve here and it is going to be much much steeper. It’s a mistake to get to focused on the current systems, their impact and limitations.”

“We have an algorithm that can truly learn, and it’s getting exponentially better with scale. We are going to look back at that in history. When a future system can help us treat a disease or solve climate change, that’s quite impactful.”

AI And The Jobs Market
Altman said that every technological revolution leads to job change, but with AI, it’s different.

“Job change itself is fine. In two generations, we have learnt to adapt to labour market change. Some jobs will go away, there will be newer jobs. But what’s different this time, is the speed with which this could happen. He said it will change socio-economic contracts and the way governments think about it.

He also said that 10 years ago, experts said AI will take away the physically laborious jobs. “Truck drivers, farmers, labourers, then it will come for easier cognitive labour and then computers, and then maybe creative jobs. He dismissed them all by saying, “we can look now and say it’s going in the opposite direction.” Bloomberg

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