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‘Bakwas’: Rajeev Chandrasekhar on claims of AI replacing jobs in India

Jul 08, 2023 08:29 AM IST

Comments about AI taking away jobs zero, non-sense, bakwas: Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Comments about artificial intelligence taking away jobs in India are "zero, non-sense, bakwas", Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Friday.

Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Union Minister of State for Skill Development Rajeev Chandrasekhar addresses an event.(PTI)

The minister of state for electronics, information and technology said Artificial Intelligence (AI) today is task-focused and essentially makes tasks more efficient, mimicking human behaviour.

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"I am sorry to be sounding cynical. In 1999, the whole of 1999, I heard how Y2K is going to wipe out the world. Then I hear AI will finish our jobs and there are obviously people who want to look at the worst case scenario of any innovation. AI will finish our jobs, zero, non-sense, bakwas," he said.

"Generative AI today is task-focused and essentially makes tasks more efficient, mimicking human behaviour...," he said.

Read: Sundar Pichai's bold prediction: AI to enhance professions, not replace them

Chandrasekhar was talking to reporters after unveiling the fully automated state-of-the-art electromagnetic interference and compatibility laboratories at the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER) here.

He said the government was working with a data sets programme where government anonymised data would be made available to Indian artificial intelligence researchers and start-ups.

"These are data sets that would be offered on a curated basis and the design for those five works were set up by the Ministry," the minister said.

Two consultations were held and very soon the government would be announcing the entire architecture of the data sets programme, he added.

On the semiconductor industry in India, he said the government was engaged in building a semiconductor ecosystem which is expected to come up in three to five years.

Elaborating, he said 18 months ago there was none and today we have got almost 30 start-ups engaged in semiconductor design.

"You see in IIT Madras, which was supposed to be a PhD project, is receiving private capital funding asking it to grow...that is the difference in 18 months. It is not government money. It is private investors backing a company to do the next generation of computers from semiconductors design from Chennai," Chandrasekhar said.

Read: US chip-maker Micron signs MoU worth 22,500 crore with Gujarat government

He said India would soon have a semi-conductor research centre and the country would be a player in the global semiconductor value chain.

"We are going to end up doing in 10 years what China took 30 years to do and failed. China has spent USD 2 billion in the last 15 years in trying to create a semi-conductor industry, and what do they have today? In Hindi there is a phrase, zero battey sannata," the minister said.

"This (semiconductor design) is really transformative and what is this really why we are confident is because electronics as an industry did not exist pre-2014 and had been laid to waste because of imports. Today, we (India) are a trusted and significant player in electronics...," he said.

"In three-five years, we will have a fully competitive world-class semiconductor ecosystem in India," he added.

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