Is AI a threat? City students debate at Dr MM Das Memorial competition

Shillong, Sep 2: In May this year, a one-sentence statement released by the Center for AI Safety, a non-profit organisation, made the world jittery. The statement read, “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war.”


So, is artificial intelligence redefining the threat to human civilisation? An intriguing subject in itself, this was the topic of debate at the 24th Dr MM Das Memorial Inter College/Higher Secondary School Debate Competition held at Zenith Jubilieth Club in the city.

There were 20 participants from 10 schools and colleges. Those speaking for the motion focused on how AI is changing the world and can finally turn into a sentient being that could take over the human race.

Those speaking against the motion focused on how AI has helped in various fields, such as healthcare, defence and education.

The debate competition was witnessed by a sizeable number of enthusiasts, even as the motion was defeated by the House when put to vote by Speaker Professor Sukalpa Bhattacharjee, department of English, North Eastern Hill University (NEHU).

While all the speakers were convincing in their debating the topic, the students from St Edmund’s College, Shreyashi Vedashruti and Sanskriti Modgal, were the champions. Modgal bagged the prize for the Best Speaker and Vedashruti was the Best Humorous Speaker.

The first and second runners-up were St Anthony’s College (Melakyrkhu Ryngnge and Debargha Sarkar) and St Edmund’s Higher Secondary School (Rohan Bhattacharya and Jeffrey Jones Kharbani).

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