My Column: Artificial Intelligence: Friend or foe?

Computerised cars and planes, household-appliances, robots cleaning the houses, making chappatis, putting your favourite music in a dimmed light and soft enviorment; call it progress or total dependence on artificial intelligence with its own comforts and confusions. Some may like it, some may not but this is the reality of modern household in developed western cities. Highstreets as we knew them till now, are diminishing fast , because customers get better and cheaper rates and deals on internet. There are even talks of an artificial moon in China, which may replace the streel lights and lit up dark streets from the space…quite innovative thought indeed. This progress of science is giving us not only new appliances and techniques, but test tube babies and cure for so many ailments. It may give us test tubed limbs also in future! Quite a comforting thought for suffering patients.
Only downside to this development and empowerment of artificial intelligence in my view is that when everything is so readily and easily available , longing and intensity of feelings will also slip out fast . Agreed, our world is changing , but are we ready for it, properly adjusting with it?
Speed is exciting , has its own thrills, but it often makes us less sensitive to the world around us. Deafens us to the quiet and peaceful moments of life, like the simple and daily sound of a running brook or breeze….chirping of birds, laughter and whisper of our own kids…sounds which are calming and rejuvenating in the background. Sounds which connect us with each other.
In this mad rush of achieving it all, we are forgetting the simple pleasures of life and are almost ready to throw the baby with the bath water? What is the point in living up to hundred or beyond on artificial limbs if there is no peace or happiness inside . Somehow we have to find a way preserving our sanity and rescuing ourselves from turning into a machine or robot in this mechanical age… living in our changing world, how we want to live, not just imitating how everybody else is living. Preserve our own values or what is dear to us .
So we may not stoop to a robotic existence of no feelings and understanding towards each other or start completely ignoring each other.
It is a common complain these days that even children give more time to their mobiles or computers than their fellows. And it is not a healthy sign for a healthy society. They are forgetting the skill of interaction, forgetting how to feel for others and in lot of cases for themselves also.
Friend or foe; as we take it or use it.
In my view intelligence is an ‘Intelligence’, guide and saviour, be it artificial or real ; an aid to us not a hinderance.
Shail Agrawal.

Ps. Lekhni’s next issue is celrbrating 13 years of its existence, with some beautiful and best poems, stories and interviews.
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Wishing our friends & readers best of all in coming year.


Shail Agrawal.
Editor @ www.lekhni.net