NEW DELHI : We overestimate technology in the short term and underestimate technology in the long term." IIIT Bangalore director and professor S. Sadagopan said, quoting science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, to drive home this point when delivering his special address as a jury member of the Mint-EY Emerging Technology Awards conferred on companies adopting emerging technologies.

“In today’s world, we often talk about technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and question where they are leading us. But does that mean we can predict? Coming from the academic profession, we get the advantage of looking at things with a slightly larger perspective," said professor Sadagopan.

James Watt would perhaps have never visualized what his steam engine would morph into, professor Sadagopan explained. Today, that engine is used to power cars, pumps and many more. It has even transformed into electric engines now, he pointed out. Over time, engines created a whole new profession, called engineering. According to professor Sadagopan, we’re seeing a re-enactment of brawn power amplification to brain power amplification—that is AI.

“Sometimes, people ask whether AI will take away jobs. But as Satya Nadella said in his book, for 200 years, human beings have tended machines but thanks to AI, may be human beings will tend human beings," he added.

The final form that AI will take is difficult to predict right now. The technology today is at an early stage, said Sadagopan. “For those of us present today, we’re watching the evolution of AI. AI will have lots of fun for all of us for the next 10-20 years. When you are in your eighties and nineties, you can tell your grandchildren that you were part of the evolution of AI," he concluded.

Close