The world might be panicking over how advances in AI will soon allow computer programs to be better at most tasks than humans, but one of the most prominent voices in Indian tech isn’t particularly concerned.
Infosys founder Narayan Murthy has said that he believes that nothing will be able to beat the human mind, not even ChatGPT. “ChatGPT is an excellent addition to knowledge generation, to doing certain tasks, for example, writing an essay,” he told CNBC. “(But) I am a great believer in the theory that the human mind is the most powerful imagination machine. There is nothing that can beat the human mind,” he added.
Murthy wasn’t completely denouncing new AI technologies — he said that he would use ChatGPT as an instrument and an assistant in producing better quality of work and output, but not as a human replacement. He said that the human mind is what differentiates one human being from one another.
Murthy further explained his position by citing an example of a competition between him and the interviewer. “Let’s remember, both you and I have access to the same ChatGPT,” he said. “If there is a competition between you and me, you will use the ChatGPT output as your base, and then you will add your own differentiation, your own smartness, your own tweaking,” he said.
“And that’s when the teachers will be much more impressed with you than with me.” “The lazy guys will get C. Only smart people will get A,” Murthy stated. “Therefore, I am not so much worried about ChatGPT,” he concluded.
Interestingly, Murthy’s company — Infosys — had been one of the earliest backers of ChatGPT, having invested in OpenAI it all the way back in 2015. Murthy’s position, though, is contrary to what many in the tech industry believe — Elon Musk and some leading AI researchers have gone as far as to sign an open letter, asking companies to pause all advanced AI testing for six months to better understand their effects on society. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI which has made ChatGPT, has himself said that ChatGPT could eliminate many current jobs.
Also, ChatGPT has also gone beyond just writing essays — the program can now solve captchas, navigate mazes, understand jumbled up instructions, and even answer McKinsey case studies. As the software becomes more advanced, it’s likely that it will be able to perform even more complex tasks. Time will tell how ChatGPT’s progress plays out, but for now one of the doyens of India’s IT industry believes that no matter how good AI gets, there will always be room for its human masters.