Bangalore on IT
Aug 21, 2019

AI is hot, should be handled with care: Dr Balaraman

IIIT Bangalore organized the second edition of the public lecture series ‘Bangalore on IT’, on August 21 at the campus in electronic city. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Balaraman Ravindran, head, Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras. The title of the talk was, “Why the Recent Excitement in Artificial Intelligence?”.

Over the past decade, AI technologies have seen the third revival and have captured the popular imagination yet again. In this seminar, Dr. Balaraman spoke about Deep Neural Networks and Reinforcement Learning, two of the paradigms that underlay much of the modern successes of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

From defining the term AI, to delving into intricacies around the technology, the talk took the audience on a journey to explain recent buzz around it. “Whether playing games or receiving pop-ups on Facebook, telling you who your friends are, a good fraction of population today talks to AI than to human beings,” said Dr. Balaraman in jest.

Explaining the reason behind superhuman performance of the technology, Dr. Balaraman stressed on the point that while a lot has been achieved with this technology, we have failed spectacularly as well.

“While there is lot of excitement around AI, it comes with a huge pinch of salt. We should consider AI as a child and we need to be very careful and responsible while using it, as we cannot blame a child for an unwanted outcome. There should be a sense of responsibility and we should all start asking hard questions now. We are closer than ever to functional AI, as the technology today is directly impacting people’s lives. But the conundrum here is, we thought the same is 50s and 80s. We have to make sure that we do not lose the sight of what is true this time. We need to focus on building human like AI which is extendable, robust and agile. It should be able to convince human beings that it is doing the right thing,” said Dr. Balaraman.