Nivruti Rai is country head of Intel India and was recognized by Fortune India as one of the top 20 Most Powerful Women in Business in that country. Though she wanted to be a fashion designer as a young girl, these days she’s more likely to be found discussing artificial intelligence strategy or the future of the 5G cell network.
She joins Sanford School dean Judith Kelley on the Policy 360 podcast to discuss women in business and how private business and government can intersect, especially when it comes to a U.S.-based company and a country that is growing as rapidly as India.
Conversation highlights have been edited for readability and clarity
I have a thought that I shared with my mother to explain to her “why AI.” (She hears that AI is going to take over everybody’s job and it’s like a Terminator who is going to kill the world. The machine would be the ruling.
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(She knows that I’m doing a lot of AI for Intel, and I am leveraging India.)
So this is how I explained to her and I said, “Forget about machines for a moment. Let’s think about human beings. There are some very smart people, and there are so not so smart people. Now let’s focus on the very smart people, there are very smart people who are doing good things. We want to recognize them and reward them.
But there are very smart people who are doing bad things. So, what do we do as a society? We have rules put in place, we have regulations put in place, policies put in place. So when you know we catch somebody doing wrong, that somebody is put in the jail, etc.
We benefit from smart people and their goodness, and we stay protected from the vicious, evil people.
Why should machines be any different? There will be those people who will be leveraging machines to do wrong things. And just like natural intelligence is supported by policy, regulation, rules, guidelines — to safeguard the interest of the masses, we have to do exactly the same thing, in the case of artificial intelligence.
To me, artificial intelligence is honestly augmented intelligence, because those smart minds will be creating and doing things. And we can always have interventions and protection through a lot of these policies, guidelines, regulations.
And essentially, AI will become a tool. The not so smart people in AI will be the consumers. And I really feel that tomorrow, AI will be so pervasive that everybody will be using AI as a tool, like we use Excel today. It’ll be like a tool.
So mom said, “Yeah, that makes sense.”
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