Shillong, Aug 27: Use, abuse, misuse, dependence and over-dependence. These are the crucial words to be pondered over when the discussion is on technology. While technology has become synonymous with progress of mankind, the question remains whether humans are gradually slipping into the darker side of it.
A group of students debated on this on Saturday and presented instances and incidents in support of the arguments. The occasion was the 23rd All Shillong Dr MM Das Memorial Inter College/Higher Secondary School Debate, the oldest running debate competition in the city, and the motion was ‘Over dependence on artificial intelligence is fraught with disastrous consequences’.
Organised by the Zenith Jubelieth Club in Laban, the debate was relevant in this time when artificial intelligence and other new-age technologies have become an intrinsic part of life.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is bandied about by many in today’s world. It is also a technology that is widely used in all spheres, be it businesses, agriculture, education or daily chores. But have we crossed the thin line between use and abuse? Have we become over-dependent on AI?
The topic evoked passionate and spontaneous arguments both for and against the motion by the young debaters from 10 educational institutions in the city. Professor Sukalpa Bhattacherjee was the Speaker.
The arguments were judged by Dr Binayak Sen and Dr Suranjana Choudhury, both assistant professors at NEHU, and Advocate Subhashish Chakraborty.
The team from Raid Laban College was the winner. Diya Sinha from the college, who spoke for the motion, won the Best Speaker prize.
St. Edmund’s College and Shillong Women’s College were the first and the second runners-up, respectively.
Prizes for best speaker and the most humorous speaker were also handed over to debaters in these categories. The winners also received individual mementoes and cash awards.
The vice-president of the Zenith Jubelieth Club, Monotosh Chakravarty, said, “We are happy to have been able to hold this prestigious and oldest running debate competition in the city this year after suspending it for two consecutive years due to the pandemic.”
The Zenith Jubelieth Club, which is in its 52nd year, is one of the oldest clubs in the city and involved in a wide range of social welfare activities.
The debate ended with Sen provoking introspection by questioning the transformation of man and its reflection in the technology that he creates.