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Observations on AI platform

June 05, 2023 00:00:00

Notwithstanding the reservations of many including Geoffrey Hinton known as the godfather of the discipline, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has continued to occupy a major place in human activities, especially those related to computer and programming. Contrary to many fallacious conceptions about computer-run AI, it has proved to be a tool highly beneficial to many intricate mental jobs of today's man. The device lacks the judgment capability, conscience and scruple of humans; yet it has already emerged as an ersatz copy of the human brain. Detractors fear AI might one day emerge as something uncannily similar to man's brain function. In reality, what AI is equipped with are its machine-driven penchant for precision, infallibility, and the problem-solving capability. In keeping with this, fruitful application of the AI device to accounting and auditing was discussed at a webinar in Dhaka on May 31.

IT experts and auditing professionals presented their views at the virtual seminar, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Bangladesh (ICAB). Speaking as the chief guest, Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh, Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury observed that Artificial Intelligence was now getting closer to human intelligence (HI) leading to new challenges. Spelling out the capabilities of the AI platforms, he said they can learn faster and can even mimic human emotions. As he viewed it, the next-generation AI platforms would be able to undergo faster evolution than at the present rate of its development. There are challenges ahead for different professionals, he added wryly.

The observations made at the webinar portray the vision of a real brave new world. But to many, they also carry unpalatable messages. While presenting his keynote paper, Khondkar Atique-e-Rabbani observed new technologies like AI would impact on all disciplines, economies, industries and even challenge ideas about what it means to be human. The ICAB member reiterated the point that AI could be fed with the right data and feedback to become an ethical platform to aid humanity. This observation might recall the war experts' fear that a wrongly AI-driven tool or robot may play havoc with the enemies' civilian populations. This nightmare has lately started prompting the relevant scientists to go slow on war strategies devised with the hyperactive AI in mind. Fears are said to be there for the otherwise amazing Artificial Intelligence tool falling into the wrong hand. However, the accounting and auditing areas are still free of the rogue AI tools. In spite of the isolated incidents of breaking into the banking systems, the AI related catastrophes have yet to turn into a global nightmare.

In Bangladesh, the auditors carry out their jobs in accordance with a humble routine. In this regard, the ICAB president says auditors have to be well-prepared to bring about changes in the accounting and auditing functions to conform to Artificial Intelligence, since it is one of the ingredients of the 4th Industrial Revolution. By using Artificial Intelligence technology, transactions and account balances may be continually watched, he noted. AI is not killing jobs, rather changing their nature. Contrary to the common notion, it's not the machine; rather people skilled in new technologies will take over the jobs. These encouraging words might serve as a stimulant. The rift between man and machine during the Industrial Revolution ended with the triumph of the latter. Scientists want a similar course for AI, but with human warmth.

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