Bhubaneswar: Though artificial intelligence (AI) is a new reality, it should enhance human capabilities rather than replace them, said vice-chancellor of Rama Devi Women’s University Prof Aparajita Chowdhury at an international conference organised on the varsity campus recently.

The relationship between human intelligence and artificial intelligence is dynamic and hence a relevant concern for discussion and research,” she pointed out during the inaugural ceremony of the two-day international conference on ‘Reflecting on the Frankenstein Syndrome: Artificial Intelligence in Literature and Films’, organised by the university’s department of English, at its new auditorium on November 17-18, 2023.

Prof Sura P. Rath from University Of Dallas, Texas, opined that no matter how advanced technology goes, artificial intelligence can never really replace human intelligence because human imagination, emotions, feelings are unique. “A matter/text generated by AI is like the idol of Sri Jagannath without the ‘daru brahma’- that forms the soul of the idol,” he noted. “AI can never have the genuine feel of a human writer,” he added while delivering a talk on ‘Mona Lisa’s Smile: The Art of Literary Creation and the Science of AI’.

How we use technology and advancement of AI to our advantage depends on us. We can make the best use of it if we are cautious and aware of its ethical concerns,” said US-based AI professional Tapan Padhi during a session of ‘The Human Machine: Robots and Cobots in Literature’. California-based engineer and writer S B Divya, renowned for her Hugo Award-nominated book ‘Machinehood’, delivered a talk on ‘AI: Science Fiction versus Reality’. She spoke about the war of dominance between AI and humans and reflected on AI mirroring humanity and the ethical dimensions of coexistence.
In the inaugural session on Friday, RDWU’s head of department of English Dr Manisha Mishra delivered the welcome address and underlined that the distinction between the real and the virtual seems to be gradually getting blurred. “We are
now at the cusp of a technological revolution with artificial
intelligence and robotics set to usher in a whole new world and it could cause a transformation never seen in the history of mankind,” she added.

Vice-chancellor, Gangadhar Meher University, Sambalpur, Prof N. Nagaraju graced the inaugural session as chief guest and dwelled on the impact of AI on unemployment, deep fake controversies, and its potential to develop consciousness surpassing human capabilities.

Chairperson P.G Council, RDWU, Prof Chandi Charan Rath said it’s high time to think about the limit of usage and consequences of AI. RDWU’s Associate Professor of English Dr Itishri Sarangi proposed the vote of thanks.

Science fiction writer Gourav Mohanty and academic-journalist Uttaran Das Gupta graced the valedictory session as guests. “The Book of Abstracts” was unveiled on the occasion. The session concluded with distribution of certificates to participants. RDWU’s Assistant Professor of English Dr Sabahat Tabriz proposed the vote of thanks.

A total of six technical sessions and six plenary sessions were held during the conference, which saw presentation research papers by academics, scholars and writers cutting across disciplines from reputed national and international institutions.