DailyPost 2435

India does not seem to be in a habit to take technology head on. We have become accustomed to being bystanders or be on fringes of it being users / customers. Some benefits we have reaped going the huge market we are and global positioning and not because of any other reason. Some exceptional entrepreneurs / industrialists have gained, but these have been mostly flash in the pan. The third industrial revolution; the computer / digital / software, whatever we call it, India never took the lead either in hardware or software and finally ended up in services and being called as the back office of the world.

Pure price disparity in low end digital labour in comparison to the western world gave the gains, which we celebrate, to our IT industry. The fourth industrial revolution, the cyber-physical one, the cutting edge of automation, and the benefits it accrues to endless sectors has barely been initiated in this country. It is mostly commented by experts in the field that India is missing out on the fourth industrial revolution. How much has the government lack of initiative, non-proactive approach of the tech industry, a pathetic research and development scenario, non-product mindset, and lip service to creativity and innovation contributed to this limbo? You can safely take a call based on your experience.

While the dust of the Cyber-Physical Age has barely settled, the release of ChatGPT on Nov 30, 2022, has unleashed a super-tech genie, which can never be put back in the bottle. The AI revolution has gone full swing. *Large multi-modal language models can transform the world as nothing else so far. There are connected products tumbling out of the AI cupboard incessantly. We are at the cusp of a different world, it would happen much sooner that even the best case scenarios. It is both fascinating and scary. The bloodshed happening at IT behemoths is a daily story. OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, Nvidia et al have taken upon themselves to change the world.

From the chip to the search everything is headed of exponential changed, Enabled by AI, is the buzzword and practice too. Has India again decided to be on the periphery? From the government to the IT industry, to academicians / researchers to our world famous IITs? While we happy to live in our own couches, this time it would be most hard hitting. The country’s decision makers are either busy in elections or inauguration wrangling, do they have any idea of the nature of impending job bloodshed in the making? And it would not only be IT. If you don’t engage in the narrative of the future, Yuval Noah Harari, the leading digital thinker says, future can never be inclusive and /or kind to you. You can be busy in all sorts of sundry work, and expect that the future will not bite you, then this wish will never get fulfilled. Miss the opportunity and be unaware of the repercussions, what a crazy place to be!

Sanjay Sahay

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