Lecture 3: Yin and Yang of Exponential Technology
Technology has a tendency to create both good and bad. Splitting the atom gave us amazing new possibilities but also gave us atomic bombs. Emergence of exponential technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced robotics, 3D printing, internet of things (and now everything), new tools in modern biotechnology such as CRISPR, etc. are fought with both promise and problems. We will illustrate this challenge with top ten disruptive game changing technologies that will shape our lives. We will also discuss the potential strategies for creating a balance that will lead to ultimate human good.
Dr Mashelkar (Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor) is director on boards of India’s leading companies, from Tatas to Reliance. 42 global universities have bestowed honorary doctorates upon him. As its leader, Mashelkar transformed CSIR, the world’s largest chain of laboratories - heralded as one of the top ten achievements of Indian Science & Technology in the 20th century. Mashelkar received the J.R.D. Tata Corporate Leadership Award in 1998 and was elected Fellow of Royal Society in 1998.
In 1998, he was also elected Fellow of Royal Society, the topmost honour reserved for world’s pathbreaking scientists. But then he also pioneered 'Gandhian Engineering' - 'More from less for more people' - catering to the needs of the poor. And why? Mashelkar says, as a poor boy, he studied under streetlights. He understands the pains of poverty.
Mashelkar valiantly fought and revoked the wrong US patents on turmeric and Basmati rice based on India’s traditional knowledge. But to US multinationals, he licensed patents based on modern knowledge of Indian laboratories, pioneering the trend of reverse transfer of technology.
He is a Director on boards of India’s leading companies, from Tatas to Reliance. 42 global universities have bestowed honorary doctorates upon him. The Government’s trust in him shows through the twelve high-powered Mashelkar Committees, many of them on contentious issues.
As its leader, Mashelkar transformed CSIR, the world’s largest chain of laboratories-heralded as one of the top ten achievements of Indian Science & Technology in the 20th century. He has received Padmavibhushan at the hands of President of India and Star of Asia at the hands of George Bush (Sr), former US President.
If god permits one wish, Mashelkar says he will ask for one day on earth again in 2050 to see his dream coming true - India as a leading advanced nation.