Sridhar Vembu’s thoughts as per his tweet:
I will summarize my concerns about AI. I won’t focus on the technology itself but on the economic consequences.
First of all, if AI were to eliminate all jobs, it means AI is able to produce all the goods and services humans need and want without human labor.
The air we breathe is free and we don’t complain about it, so if a future magical AI were to produce all the goods and services free of human labor, it need not be bad for us. The real question is “how do we pay for those goods, because there are no jobs and hence no income”.
That question really comes down to “who owns the magical AI” - are there monopolies that extract rent? Indians get practically free digital payments because UPI is a common digital good. That analogy applies to AI well.
Public policy has to ensure that no one monopolizes AI.
Where will the jobs come from? In a world where AI made goods and services free, the better question is “what will humans do?”
I am an optimist. We will have a lot more time for friends and family, sports, music and dance, more time for spiritual pursuits and so on.
What should our policy makers do? My advice is to place strict openness requirements on AI technology. Some providers will threaten to leave India but we must call their bluff. Indians can produce great AI too, subject to our laws. No monopolies, no toll gates!