Social Media Platforms Have Become Battlegrounds For Political Discourse, And Misinformation: Dr Shehla Rashid In Pune

Social Media Platforms Have Become Battlegrounds For Political Discourse, And Misinformation: Dr Shehla Rashid In Pune

Speaking at the session 'Democracy 2.0 – How AI and Social Media are changing the game,' she highlighted social media's transformation into battlegrounds for political discourse and misinformation.

Aakash SinghUpdated: Friday, January 12, 2024, 03:53 PM IST
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Social Media Platforms Have Become Battlegrounds For Political Discourse, And Misinformation: Dr Shehla Rashid In Pune |

Policy Consultant and Researcher Dr Shehla Rashid highlighted India's role in shaping global standards and promoting ethical artificial intelligence (AI) during her speech at the 13th edition of Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad in Pune.

Speaking at the session 'Democracy 2.0 – How AI and Social Media are changing the game,' she highlighted social media's transformation into battlegrounds for political discourse and misinformation.

"Social media platforms have become battlegrounds for political discourse and misinformation. The weaponisation of deepfakes and echo chambers serves as stark reminders of the potential pitfalls of the digital landscape. We need to ensure that present and future generations do not fall prey to this menace of AI-driven rabbit holes, information silos, propaganda, and conspiracy theories," said Dr. Shehla.

The session, chaired by Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker UT Khader Fareed and presided over by Dr. Vishwanath Karad, Founder President of MIT WPU, included the presence of AAP MLA Adv Somnath Bharati, renowned presenter and documentary maker Siddharth Kak, and National Social Media head for BJYM Apurva Singh.

BJP MLA from Haryana, Bhavya Bishnoi was honoured with the 'Aadarsh Yuva Vidhayak Samman' during the event.

Dr Shehla pointed out the fundamental changes brought by AI and social media platforms in how people interact, consume information, and participate in the democratic process. She discussed the use of powerful technologies and algorithms for microtargeting specific populations and creating echo chambers, contrary to democratic dialogue.

Dr. Shehla cited examples from the ongoing Israel-Hamas War, highlighting the potential malicious use of generative AI to produce lifelike images depicting events that never occurred. She expressed concerns about such misuse originating abroad, undermining election processes, and stirring discord among communities.

Dr Shehla advocates for harnessing technological power of AI

On a positive note, Dr Shehla advocated for harnessing the technological power of AI, social media, and digital public infrastructure for good governance. She suggested that India could lead by promoting responsible and ethical AI development, shaping global standards, and leveraging AI for the greater good.

Fareed emphasised the distinction between a politician and a visionary, stressing the importance of intelligence in politics. He urged active participation in politics for the benefit of the country and its people.

"More than AI and social media, your intelligence is more important in politics and how you handle situations matters the most," he added.

Apurva Singh highlighted the empowerment of citizens through social media, encouraging youth to express positive views on various platforms.

Adv Bharati said he viewes AI and social media as enablers, amplifying user intentions, and called for governments to ensure democratic accessibility with the positive use of these technologies. Siddharth Kak underscored the role of youth in shaping the future of Indian democracy.

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