Misuse of technology to create deepfakes threat to society: President Murmu

President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday said that while the use of artificial intelligence (AI) was making people’s lives easier, its misuse to create deepfakes poses a threat to society.

She said if technology is used properly, it will benefit society, but its misuse will affect humanity.

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Murmu also said that investing in girls’ education is the most valuable investment in the progress of the country. The president was speaking at the 111th convocation of Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) as the chief guest. “Now every youth understands technology as well as uses it. Any resource can be put to good use and misused as well. The same is true with technology as well. If it is used properly, it will benefit society and the country, but if misused it will affect humanity,” she said.

“Today, the use of artificial intelligence is making our lives easier, but the use of technology for deepfake is a threat to society. In this regard, moral value-based education can show us the way,” she added.

Deepfake videos are synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also cautioned that deepfakes created by artificial intelligence can lead to a big crisis and stoke discontent in society, and urged the media to raise awareness about its misuse and educate people. Murmu expressed happiness saying more than half the degree holders at the convocation ceremony were girls. “Similarly, around 4 lakh students are pursuing their education from RTMNU and its affiliated colleges, and 40 per cent of the total students are girls, which is a very satisfying factor,” she said.

“I believe that investing in girls’ education is the most valuable investment in the progress of the country,” she said. There is a need to continuously learn in view of the huge changes taking place in the field of technology today. Students should always be curious and strive to learn throughout life, the president said. According to her, the aim of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is to develop an education policy having Indian ethos and values, which she said will provide highest quality education and establish India as a global knowledge power.

She also focussed on promoting interdisciplinary studies and international collaboration as well research and innovation. Calling students “assets” of the society, she said the future of the country rests on their shoulders. Murmu expressed confidence that students will contribute to the progress of the country. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was also present on the occasion, said universities play a key role in the progress of the country.

Universities have to play an important role in creating skilled human resource, he said.

Hailing the Nagpur university for its glorious history, Union minister Nitin Gadkari emphasised the importance of converting knowledge into wealth.

PM Modi’s dream of India becoming a USD 5 trillion economy will not be possible without knowledge, he said.

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