The Meaning Of ‘Artificial’ In Artificial Intelligence And Its Future Ramifications

We are all well aware of the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) has had on our lives in this decade. Traditional technology has been swept away by the tsunami of new, more cutting edge technology; the corporate is still struggling to catch up with the explosive development of AI and where it can potentially take the business world. But AI did not fall upon us from the heavens one fine day. Research on AI, its algorithms and theories have existed for decades. It is only that its foray into the world of business and industries happened in recent times, and yes, it did happen pretty quickly.

Artificial Intelligence
As AI takes centre stage in all aspects of our lives, we need to look at the past and learn from our own creation and evolution.

I did my project in artificial neural networks as part of my engineering programme some 20 years ago. At that time, I had felt uneasy about something but I did not know why. All the much talked about mysteries in the world exist because of certain questions that had hitherto gone unanswered. If we find the answer to those questions, everything else will fall in place. I know now what made me uneasy was the word ‘artificial’. Why do we call the intelligence we create ‘artificial’? The antonym of artificial is original, so are we claiming that human intelligence is the original intelligence? Are we basically saying that we created our intelligence through evolution? The problem with this is, we are implicitly assuming that the creation of the universe was by accident and intelligence evolved within it with time.

When we create artificial intelligence now, it is because we have become intelligent enough to create intelligent beings on our own. So it is also possible that other intelligent beings may have created us as intelligent beings. There is a gap in human evolution wherein there is a quantum leap from Homo Erectus, the early hominids to the intelligent Homo Sapiens, which mainstream science has not been able to explain. More than intelligence, it is the intelligent capacity to communicate that have baffled scientists.

In the evolutionary time span, such a big leap is simply not possible. Our genetic structure is 99% similar to that of apes so how can a mere 1% make us so different from them in terms of intelligence and communication skills? Ancient Sumerian tablets have helped to unlock this mystery with the information that an extraterrestrial race of beings called the Anunnaki manipulated the genetic structure of early hominids to create us. Again, the why comes into play. They created us as their slaves to mine gold for which they had come to earth.

People might scoff at this as a mere fantasy, but again, the why rears its head. Why do we look up when we pray to God? Why is gold precious to us when metals like iron, copper and aluminium are the ones useful to us in our daily lives? Why did the ancient Kings of Travancore in Kerala store gold worth billions of dollars in a temple in the name of Gods, and why is it forbidden for us to use?

What we need to realize and accept is that just like we create robots nowadays to do our work, it is possible that we may have been created by beings with far superior intelligence to do their work. In ancient Indian texts, Brahma the creator of the Universe creates Manu who is given the task of seeding life across the universe. In the ancient Sumerian tablets, it is Anu who is the master of creation of life. Scientists and researchers now believe that seeding of life across the universe has been happening through a process known as panspermia so then Manu (Anu) must be the one providing intelligence to different life forms. So the question here is, is creation of intelligent life forms a continuous process?

If we consider that the universe is a creation of an infinitely higher order of intelligence, then lower orders of that intelligence will have to exist within its realm for it to grow and expand. Spreading intelligence within the universe must be helping in its own evolution. So the most important purpose of existence of every being in the universe could be the spreading of intelligence.

But where it gets interesting is the way we have started fearing the intelligence we are in the process of creating, which has spawned movies like the Matrix Trilogy, The Terminator series, I, Robot and countless others, to say nothing of the classic Frankenstein. Why are we in fear that the intelligence we create could grow out of our control? This is where I concur with the scientists and researchers who believe in the Ancient Aliens theory. They believe that the Anunnaki could have easily created intelligent mechanical beings for mining gold, but they must have chosen not to for the same reason that steeps us in fear now.

It is not possible to create emotions in mechanical beings and the intelligence of mechanical beings can evolve to a point where they start believing and acting on mere logic, although devoid of emotions. This is exactly what we are fearing now and what has already started happening. So the Anunnaki smartly chose to create biological robots by genetic manipulation of existing beings and they created us in such a way that we could be manipulated emotionally. The best example of this is, they must have created us as their slaves by controlling us through fear which would not have been possible with machines and this could be why we still live with the fear of God.

So as AI takes center stage in all aspects of our lives, we need to look at the past and learn from our own creation and evolution. The Anunnaki did not make us as intelligent as they were and they left the earth a long time ago, leaving us to evolve with the intelligence they gave us. They must have also known that two different beings with similarly evolving intelligence cannot coexist, just like no two adult male lions can live in the same cave. If we endow AI with thinking and acting capabilities, it should only be when we are ready to leave the planet to them and go away. A self sustaining AI will be disastrous for us for the simple reason that it would deal with us based solely on logic and our existence has always been more emotional and less of hard logic.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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