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Published : Mar 23, 2023 10:35 IST - 7 MINS READ


THE launch of ChatGPT is, as rightly termed, a watershed moment in human history (Cover Story, March 24). While many experts have expressed serious concerns about artificial intelligence and ChatGPT, the entire process is still in its infancy. Efforts should be made to plug the loopholes that could be exploited.

There is an impending danger in everything today, for example, currency notes are counterfeited. The challenge lies in coming up with a foolproof way to address security concerns. Changes are inescapable and all of them may not be for the better. There will always be apprehensions about changes, but often things work out after initial hurdles.

The last few decades have been witness to many changes that have made lives better, foremost being the ones in the field of communications. When computers were introduced, there were fears that they would increase the problem of unemployment, but in fact, they have opened doors to wider horizons, so one need not fear that ChatGPT will soon replace teachers, writers, journalists, and financial planners.

Balasubramaniam Pavani

Secunderabad, Telangana

AFTER poring over the Cover Story on ChatGPT, one wishes that we developed actual rather than artificial intelligence. The development of AI might be more profound than the discovery of fire and have more of an impact than the nuclear arms race or the race to space, but we cannot wish away the fact that “Man is the measure of all things”. All these new technologies are created by corporates and will naturally focus on making the wealthy richer. What is alarming is what will happen in the job market after the human workforce is replaced with AI. Are we coming face to face with the scary situation that Stephen Hawking visualised: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Ayyasseri Raveendranath

Aranmula, Kerala

THE Cover Story articles presented readers with the pros and cons of ChatGPT. It informed readers how the truth becomes a victim and is voluntarily sacrificed at the altar of the falsely fascinating ChatGPT. Today, it is free, and that is the trick of the trade: to lure users and then levy a high subscription. The digital world is in a vice-like grip of Big Tech, and users are clutching at straws to protect themselves. Regulated domains themselves suffer from implanted malware, zero-day issues, password spyware, and digital sabotage, and it is ridiculous to expect them to function within a self-regulatory framework. The limitations of AI must be recognised as they outweigh AI’s strengths.

Nuclear energy is harnessed for constructive purposes but is not limited to such use. Likewise, there are positive aspects to AI and digital innovations, but they are susceptible to misuse. The world is at a digital crossroads, and only time will tell whether we choose the right way.

B. Rajasekaran


WITHIN three months of its launch, ChatGPT has taken the entire world by storm and earned a considerable amount of praise. Frontline’s Cover Story has appeared at the most opportune moment.

As an AI-enabled language, it has many promises and several pitfalls and is fraught with lurking dangers. It can be used by potential fraudsters to target computer systems of unsuspecting Internet users. The app may pose a threat to cybersecurity as it may come in handy for hackers and phishers. The primary concern is the vast amount of sensitive information, including confidential business information and personal data, that is being used to train and improve the new AI chatbot technology. A cautious approach is needed lest it should invade cyberspace.

T.N. Venugopalan

Kochi, Kerala


 A view of one of Kolkata’s three remaining tram routes, on February 24.

A view of one of Kolkata’s three remaining tram routes, on February 24. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

IT would be foolish for Kolkata to give up its trams the way Mumbai and other Indian cities did (“Oh Kolkata!”, March 24). Instead, using revenue from advertisements and subsidies, Kolkata’s tram system should be modernised on its 150th anniversary. Trams should be equipped with fire extinguishers; first aid kits; an alternative power system such as generators or solar-powered batteries to power trams during a short circuit or electric failure; and so on.

Tram rides can be made more comfortable with air conditioning. Digital boards in each tram compartment should mention the station, and the tram terminus should have a board listing all the stations. Tram routes, stations, and terminuses, wherever possible, should be kept spotless, and they should be popularised with free or discounted heritage rides and city tours, and so on.

Hopefully, this will inspire Mumbai to reintroduce trams in the Bandra Kurla Complex as was planned. Anything that eases the life of the common man is always useful, so Kolkata’s trams should be prevented from rambling into the sunset.

Peter Castellino



COUNTRIES have some serious lessons to learn from natural disasters (“Earthquake jitters for Erdogan”, March 24). It is time for humans to coexist with the earth and its abundant natural resources without overexploiting them. Just because humans have many technological advances at their disposal does not mean that they should use these to exploit the earth to the greatest extent possible.

What is the best way out of this? Firstly, mega building structures must be banned, and quake-prone areas should be excluded from heavy construction activities. The time has come to say a BIG NO to concrete jungles. Most important, the international community should stand with the people in earthquake-hit Turkiye and Syria in their hour of crisis.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai


Liberal Muslims

IN the Cover Story articles (March 10), liberal Muslims uniformly lamented about how they were sandwiched between the fanatics from both the Muslim and the Hindu communities. Someone once said: “There is much to commend in every religion and a lot to condemn in every one of them”, a statement that is more forthright than the trite eulogies that talk about how all religions preach unity. After all, the world hitherto has witnessed a lot of bigotry, violence, and irrationalities in the name of religion. This may be because the way religion is propagated discourages scepticism and encourages conformity on the pretext of what is projected as faith.

But, religion interpreted in terms of faith has necessarily to be individualistic and, therefore, cannot be institutionalised. I recall a quote a professor friend cited to me: “Religion is like a toothbrush. Each one has to hold... his own.”

I want to know, does religion innately undermine individual identity, and does such undermining get highlighted in conversion? This is not to discount the significance of religion and its ascetic prescriptions. However, instead of pledging allegiance to any one faith, people should be given the space to evolve their faith relatively autonomously. This is apt to widen the horizons of religiosity.

A.R.M. Ramesh

Madurai, Tamil Nadu


Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

IN the satire “Vacation for judges” (March 10), the writer suggested some methods to clear the gigantic backlog of cases, which are never-ending likes waves in the seas.

One of the reasons for this stated in the write-up is that a large percentage of aggrieved litigants end up going for appeals against judgments, thus driving the graph of pendency upward. When the ultimate judgment is made in these cases, it is quite evident that they could amount to a mockery of justice. All judges have to operate under the same statutes and rely upon precedents.

Therefore, it can be concluded that at the initial and all stages of proceedings and adjudication, it is important for the courts to interpret and apply well-settled Acts/laws/rules before issuing their final orders, and in this way prevent pendency.

Ashok Nihalani

Pune, Maharashtra


WHILE gubernatorial posts have of late become a way to reward party loyalists and leaders who are subservient to their party bosses, the recent appointment of new Governors added another twist to this practice (“Modi’s Governors”, March 10).

For example, the appointment of retired Justice S. Abdul Nazeer as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh sets a bad precedent. While in office, he delivered several important judgments in favour of the ruling dispensation. Notwithstanding the government’s defence of his appointment, it appears to be a clear-cut case of efforts to undermine the independence of the judiciary.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

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