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Artificial Intelligence and the Democratic Machinery


Introduction


Artificial Intelligence is an emerging technology that can perform several tasks that require human knowledge, skill, and learning. There has been a significant development in this field in the last few years with the advent of tools such as Chat GPT, Google Bard Etc. This technology has far-reaching applications in all fields of human life-from education, to health, entertainment, security, and governance.


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However, it would be pertinent to note that as the saying goes- "Science is a good servant, but a bad master," and therefore, as many as there may be positive aspects of the use of AI technology, there also remain certain aspirations in this regard.


A.I. and Governance


It is not surprising to note that there is a great deal of impact on modern-day governance Imposed by Artificial Intelligence. This technology has been and is being, used to Invade public spheres and social media platforms to disseminate information and misinformation as well, in certain path to cases. It has eased large-scale communication, mitigating any gaps that may exist between the state and the public at large.


Ai and governance: A hand shaking a robot's hand

In recent news, PM Modi's voice was digitally rendered to serenade the populous in Tamil and Telugu language, along with Deep fake technology, that was used by the party against targeted voters and workers to address the gap between constituents and the representative


At first notice, these achievements beave an incredible colour and amplify our hopes for a more connected society and state. But, the supplemental picture here must be addressed.


A deep and pervading mistrust is being developed among the literary classes state, where multiple sources of mere opinions have exacerbated the jolting need for a fair, non-biased and primarily non-political source of information. 


This event of polarization and manipulation has led to deception, confusion, eroding trust & incitement of violence as well in certain cases. Powerful political forces are no longer concerned with affirmative action, or the display of any fortifying measure as to the promotion of their ideals and manifesto, and the major concern today, seems to be the reinforcement of online echo chambers, creation of online filler bubbler to disentitle certain facts and events of their importance or distribution.


Essentially, a large part of the political dynamic today rests on modifying, manipulating and indirectly controlling public opinion through targeted advertising, nudging and other methods that affect and exploit cognitive biases, emotional triggers and personal data utilisation that greatly undermine individual autonomy and content.


Impact on Democracy 


It has been firmly established that for all the wonders AI technology can achieve, we as political citizens must acknowledge Its impact on increasing pluralism, intolerance and the weakening of the democratic spirit. In the wake of the 18th General Election, it is imperative that some form of regulatory framework is essential to note and safeguard the model conduct code observed during elections to uphold fairness and reduce bias.


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In this regard, we must also recognize the threats that are being posed from manipulation of electoral preferences, to widening the gap between the electorate and the representative, along with the candidates in connection to their leaders and of course, in this chicanery, the interests of those they are required to protect, in terms of resources and representation of interests, is somewhat lost in the bandwidth.



The entire basis of the Gandhian ideology of the Decentralisation of democracy through interaction and discussions at the grassroots seems to dissipate with the overwhelming use of technology.



Very recently, Vandinika Shukla in her editorial in the Indian Express (Delhi) expressed grave concern as to how funded organisations were replacing people's movement and how our entire or large part of our hard-earned democratic dissent has been reduced to digital dialogue and chatter, which has created a virtual world outside, creating an illusion that doesn't enable to see the effects of the same in the stark reality and how the ramifications of such practices will render the practice of democracy into a questionable force.

The lesson that was intended to be imparted here was that, although there is a certain ease of expression and communication, we presently, as a civic society, need to appropriate these measures to not only represent our voices, but our needs, concerns & issues, and very importantly, that of the masses.


Astonishingly, although with a much-expected overture, India has yet to enact a law on artificial intelligence or its overreach and impact on any organ or industry of government or State whatsoever.


But recognition is to be given to the apprehension of the Supreme Court in recognising the obstructive and invasive attempts of the State brought by the Data Protection Bill of 2019, which was considered in the case of (Retd.) Justice K. S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, [(2017) 10 SCC 1], affirming that citizens of this country have an inviolable right to privacy, under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.


The National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, 2018 outlines India's vision for AI and includes recommendations for the development and adoption of AI technologies across various sectors of Industry.


The various committees formulated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in 2018 are responsible for this gargantuan task and coupled with International alliances, there seems a healthy growth of reconnaissance on the work and fruits of this technology.


CONCLUSION


In the culmination of this discourse, essence must be given to the evergrowing and ever-present state of the political society, civic responsibilities, and the incidence of modern-day technology in all such spheres including our personal lives. 


Although we have established that Digital overreach on the privacy of individuals shall not be tolerated and goes against the principles of Article 21 i.e., of Life and Personal liberty, we are seldom monitoring scale digital ambush in all digital platforms affecting our personal or individual liberties, has the power of indirectly affecting opinions and freedom to choose.


The biggest concern, however, remains that this issue is yet to be recognized as a major threat, to the beating democrUnanswerede heart of our nation.


An unanswered question remains at the end - whether we will remain part of a large demographic that remains subject to digital vilification and subduing or are we at the precipice of yet another movement, where despite the benefaction of modern marvels, a sense of civic duty and nationalist ideals of the freedom struggle, remain within us?

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