Navigating the Deepfake Dilemma, AI-Induced Workflow Shifts, and the Rise of Blockchain-as-a-Service in India

8 views 6:53 am 0 Comments December 19, 2023

CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Dr. Sujata Dr. SujataSeshadrinathan, Director of IT and Process at Basiz Fund Services

  1. What are your views on the recent concerns surrounding deepfakes in India and what regulations do you think can be undertaken by the government to prevent misapplication of artificial intelligence?

Deepfakes as an innovation is a natural progression of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). The name itself was inspired by deep learning by machines and is a huge leap towards computer generated synthetic media. The way it has morphed to its current usage however is a matter of concern. With the kind of output of deepfakes that have appeared in India in the recent past, one has to agree that the concerns are genuine, and if at all understated.

The top uses of deepfake seem to be violative, morphed content like pornography for blackmail, tarnishing images, political misrepresentation, and could soon escalate into more malefic applications, that has the potential to threaten civil society at large all around the world and could also trigger international and/or domestic conflict.

The Government of India has commendably taken timely cognizance of this, with the Prime Minister himself expressing concerns. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced that they are working on definitive measures towards addressing and curbing deepfakes. The recent regulations in US and EU are already defining acceptability framework for it. The use of deepfake images for fraudulent activities or identity theft can already be prosecuted under several sections of the IPC and the Information Technology Act, 2000, according to government sources. Therefore, the regulations hereon must hold both the creators of it as well as the social media platforms that proliferate it accountable.  The Government should consider policy statements and actions ensuring awareness, prevention and detection of deepfakes. It is also very critical to clearly define grievance reporting as well as legal redressal mechanisms.

  1. How can social media and internet users keep these kinds of videos in check, to avoid spreading misinformation?

Technology and society will have to be included in defining the strategy to contain the misuse of this very powerful application of AI. Recently in a blog post Michaela Browning, vice president, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google Asia Pacific, said that tackling deep fakes and AI-generated misinformation. “requires a collaborative effort, one that involves open communication, rigorous risk assessment, and proactive mitigation strategies”.  Addressing the issue of deepfakes will need the involvement of all stakeholders starting with the users who view them. For this, awareness literature about deepfakes and ways and means to address them will have to be made available to social media and internet users. AI that generated the deepfakes should itself be developed to detect it.  Any regulation for deepfakes will have to ensure discouraging dissemination and incentivising early reporting by vigilant users.  Community standards need to be defined, much like they are for acceptable use and reporting of any objectionable material on social media sites. Misinformation thus reported by users can then be addressed and deepfakes can be blocked or legal action initiated. Such escalations can also lead to the sources creating and spreading them being identified and restricted.

 

  1. Bill Gates has proposed a 3-day work week facilitated by AI. In your perspective, how do you anticipate the integration of Artificial Intelligence to reshape the traditional concept of workflow?

According to Bill Gates, rapidly evolving AI technology won’t replace humans in the workforce but rather “change it(their role) forever.” He has previously addressed the risks and challenges of AI while also acknowledging the fact that resistance to any innovation with such a deep influence is natural. While addressing concerns about AI taking over jobs, he opined it could actually lead to a society where less human labour is required.  This would need a gradual transition supported by well-defined government measures.

There are two very critical aspects to be considered while discussing AI and its impact on jobs. A World Economic Forum report confirmed these aspects as replacement of jobs by AI as well as jobs being created by redistribution of workflow between AI and humans. Back office and labour intensive jobs are a perfect use case for AI, society will greatly benefit from such redistribution. In tasks that can be codified and those that could lead to effective cost cutting, replacing human labour with AI in the traditional workflow can reshape the very way work happens today, be it offices or in manufacturing units. The use of AI in these aspects will free up human labour for reallocation into the workforce that can then manage AI deployment and interpret AI output.

  1. What is blockchain-as-a-service infrastructure and how will the Unified Blockchain Framework help in developing it?

Blockchain-as-a-service or BaaS is based on the very popular Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) model, which is a type of web host running back-end services that can be accessed for a fee. Blockchain technology has proved best fit for many applications requiring trust centric, secure transactions of all kinds, well beyond its well established use for cyrpto currencies. BaaS as cloud –based hosting services provide the much in demand solutions for optimized, transparent and cost efficient access. The BaaS service provider manages the blockchain infrastructure including the technical complexities and operational overheads involved in creating, configuring, operating and maintaining a blockchain. This is expected to provide the much needed push towards widespread usage and adoption of blockchain.

The Government of India proactively recognising this development has started work on a project named “Design and Development of a Unified Blockchain framework for offering National Blockchain service and creation of a Blockchain Ecosystem”. This is a very important step toward establishing an integrated framework for usage of BaaS over distributed infrastructure. India is expected to lead Web3 development; the establishment of a unified blockchain framework is a much needed step for enabling the technology stack for open APIs and seamless integration of end-to-end blockchain applications.