It may have surprised many a developed nation sitting on G20 to listen to the Prime Minister of Bharat talk about “ethical considerations” and “algorithm bias and its impact on the society”, but as time progresses, it is not difficult to see that Mr Modi has a point there, as we are back to facing the same problem, i.e., imposition of Western social constructs on Bharatiya social institutions such as human being, family and even society.
The latest example of this invasion is about the repulsive theme of child pornography, but it needs serious discussion in Bharat as, in a world where Google enjoys a virtual monopoly on the internet, we as a culture are an easy target.
Ahmedabad recently had a very curious complaint filed before the police where a young techie is barred completely from all the Google paid services thanks to what is clearly an invasion of human rights by artificial intelligence, probably mixed with toxic racism.
The young man being a techie, his Gen-past parents asked him to upload all the family photos on Google’s platform that he had purchased from all his work and personal data. Little did he know that the pictures of infancy taken by the loving father would meet the “dirty” eye of a western human, thanks to AI and all hell will break loose. As this young man too was born naked like all humans and did require a bath like all human beings even as an infant, some family pictures showed him in, well, his birthday suit.
As Google, the new moral guardian of the human race, runs all the data (including all your absolutely personal and private data that you are storing on the space that you have purchased by paying Google good money) through an AI platform to flag what it calls CSAM (child sexual abuse material), these childhood memories were flagged as child porn!
If we go by what Google claims, all such material flagged by AI goes to a “human” supervisor to check if it is really child porn or not, a process that by itself is a gross violation of human rights and privacy.
It appears that this human supervisor appeared to have a very different idea about some very core Bhartiya cultural institutions, especially parents and family.
As Google sits in the USA, a nation that has a culture we in Bharat may have no idea about, but, at least in Bharat, a parent and infant child’s relationship is surely not socially identified as sexual in nature. In the USA, it may have been a culturally acceptable idea that a father/mother must not watch or photograph their infants naked; in Bharat, this great enlightenment has not arrived, hopefully, as yet.
The fact that an Indian had to reach out to the police to regain access to all his life’s work that he is on the verge of losing thanks to multiple appeals made to Google failing is actually a secondary issue, as this case brings forth something far more crucial, and that is how Artificial Intelligence can not just harm human rights but can obliterate culture-specific social institutions.
If Google wants a child pornography-free world, there is bound to be a universal agreement for that cause.
But, to achieve that objective, if Google or an employee of Google is going to decide what child pornography is based on his/her culture or personal experiences, it must not be acceptable, at least for Bharat. And, if that process means that Google can pass on sensitive personal material to a human being at the behest of an artificial intelligence’s “wisdom”, that must not be acceptable to any human being across the world.
Artificial intelligence is an aid but can not be a moral preacher to humanity.
Google is a privately owned business that makes money by offering paid services, and hence it surely can not teach the world what is moral and what is not.
The Indian case that is mentioned here is not unique. The AI-driven CSAM platform of Google has been there and done exactly the same thing even in the USA, but in such cases abroad, some justice has prevailed, though no jurisprudence has really evolved from those judgements.
The world can wait if it wants, but Bharat must act.
Google must be stopped from bringing its repulsive and distorted ideas about the sexual nature of parent-child relationships to our nation.
We surely need to evolve our own jurisprudence to counter the evil of child porn which is a monster unleashed by the same artificial intelligence tools; as west has always believed that market forces are the new moral forces, but we as an ancient and cultured nation need to think based on what social institutions we have inherited and not what Google thinks to be child pornography.
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