Former Deputy National Security Advisor of India Latha Reddy has said that deepfakes are becoming so advanced that it is hard even for an expert to distinguish between them and genuine footage.
Asked about artificial intelligence and deep fakes, Reddy said that people must be careful with the use of artificial intelligence as there are some ethical boundaries that must not be crossed. Former Deputy NSA said that she has been an ardent advocate of how ethics should be combined with technology.
In an interview with ANI, Latha Reddy said, “Well, I think it’s very difficult because the technology of deep fakes is now becoming so advanced that it’s very, very hard even for an expert to distinguish between what is really a deep fake and what is the genuine footage. And so I think we are right and one thing which I would like to see about the use of artificial intelligence is that we must be very careful because there are some ethical boundaries that must not be crossed in the uses of artificial intelligence and sometimes you know, I think in science and technology matters, we get so carried away by the sheer magic of what we can create that we don’t necessarily think about the human consequences of what we are doing.”
“So I honestly think that this is an aspect that has to be kept very much in mind, both in the case of artificial intelligence as well as any use of cyberspace. And I was the chairperson of the Global Commission on the Stability of cyberspace and in my years in government as well as the years since I left government, I’ve been an ardent advocate of how we should be using ethics combined with technology. This has been one of my great passions in life and I hope that this message reaches as many people as possible and that while we can reap the full benefits of technology, we must not leave ethics out of it,” she added.
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Recently, PM Modi urged people to exercise caution over the rising threats of artificial intelligence in generating ‘deepfakes’ and said that he was surprised to see a fake video in which he was performing garba.
PM Modi said that there is a challenge arising because of Artificial Intelligence and deepfake. “A big section of our country has no parallel option for verification. People often end up believing in deepfakes and this can create turmoil and unrest in society,” he said at Diwali Milan programme held at the BJP Headquarters in New Delhi.
Speaking about digital stack, Latha Reddy expressed that she is proud that digital stack was used for digital public infrastructure and for essentially making people’s lives better. She expressed hope that the spirit of innovation and leapfrogging technologies continues to flourish in India.
Latha Reddy said, “Well, firstly, I’m very proud of it because, you know, I’m from Bangalore and, that’s my hometown. And, Mr Nandan Nilekani and his team are all very good friends of mine. And I’m so proud that it was in our city and in India that this, the whole digital stack that was used for digital public infrastructure and for essentially making people’s lives better.”
She said, “You know through so many measures and we’ve seen ample proof of that over the years, over the past recent years at any rate, and so I can only hope that the spirit of innovation, the spirit of leapfrogging technologies continues to flourish in India and that this keeps us really at the forefront of innovation.”
Asked about India becoming the Voice of Global South, Reddy said, “I think, you know, you have to really go back a little in history to this. To the founding of the non-aligned movement. And in fact, right to the founding fathers of our nation, who always argued for international peace, justice equality between nations. And, really, it’s on that basis that, we felt that every country should matter equally. So it’s only natural that today India is also seen as a spokesperson for the Global South.
“And I personally feel that, if India takes the forefront in this role, we have a good chance of achieving unity in the Global South. But we can’t do it alone. You know, we need other leading countries of the Global South to come up, and we also need to listen to the voice of even the smallest nation. And we must recognize that their needs are in many ways much more pressing and urgent than ours.”
Speaking about the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Reddy recalled that she served as India’s Ambassador to Bangkok at the time. She said that Thailand airport in Bangkok was shut by a group of protesters at that time and she facing double whammy as one hand she was also responding to queries from Indians and Thais about what was happening in Mumbai and also coping with the crisis of 10,000 to 15,000 Indians stranded at the airport.
Recalling the Mumbai attacks, Latha Reddy said, “Well, when, when 26/11 happened in Bombay, it so happened I was not in India. I was actually in Bangkok as the ambassador. And, it was an interesting day because not only did we have the terrible shock of hearing about the events in Bombay, but we also had, at the same time, a shutdown of the airport in Thailand, by a group of protesters. And I was also coping with the crises of 15 to 10,000 Indians being stranded there every day, tourists, basically. And, how to look after them, how to care for them.”
She further said, “So on the one hand, we were reeling with shock from what was happening in Mumbai tensely following those events and also responding to queries from anxious Thais and, Indians about what was happening to people in Bombay. And at the same time coping with this, so for me, that day will forever be etched in my mind as, if I may use the term, a double whammy.”
Multiple terrorist attacks were witnessed on November 26, 2008 in Mumbai. As many as 166 people, including 20 security force personnel and 26 foreign nationals, were killed and over 300 people were injured.
Speaking about India’s fight against terrorism, Latha Reddy stated that New Delhi has always called for an international convention on terrorism. She even called for a universal commitment to eradicating terrorism from this world. She called it a great pity that the international community has not been able to agree on or define what is a terrorist.
Latha Reddy said, “Well, I think as far as, India is concerned, we have always been calling for an international convention on terrorism It’s a great pity that for technical reasons such as not being able to agree on or define what is a terrorist you know, the usual argument about one man’s freedom fighters and other man’s terrorist.”
“We’ve never been able to really come to an international agreement about that. I earnestly hope and pray that one day we can because unless there’s a universal commitment to eradicating terrorism from this world, it’s not going to happen. And you’re always going to have the bad actors who are going to indulge in terrorist acts,” she added.
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