As AI technologies continue to advance, concerns arise regarding the potential implications for human workers and the constitutional rights that they enjoy. Can AI really snatch away millions of jobs in the Indian market?
In this piece, I explore the constitutional implications of replacing humans with AI, and why employers should rethink the idea of completely replacing humans with AI tools.
AI and Constitutional Rights
Right to Livelihood and Employment: The Indian Constitution recognises the right to livelihood as an essential aspect of a citizen's right to life under Article 21. The replacement of human workers by AI systems in certain sectors could potentially infringe upon this right.
If the widespread implementation of AI results in mass unemployment or disproportionately affects certain communities, it may lead to social and economic inequalities, which go against the principles of justice and equality enshrined in the Constitution.
Right to Privacy and Data Protection: AI systems rely on vast amounts of data for training and decision-making. The right to privacy, recognised as a fundamental right under Article 21, imposes an obligation on the state to protect an individual's personal information.
The collection, storage, and utilisation of personal data by AI systems should adhere to principles of informed consent, data minimisation, purpose limitation, and security to safeguard the privacy rights of individuals.
Right to Human Dignity and Autonomy: The Constitution upholds the right to dignity and personal autonomy as inherent to human beings. AI systems, while capable of performing tasks efficiently, lack the ability to truly comprehend human dignity and respect individual autonomy. The replacement of humans by AI in certain domains may lead to impersonal interactions, devaluing the significance of human connection and undermining the principles of dignity and autonomy.
Social and Economic Justice: The Indian Constitution strives for social and economic justice, aiming to ensure equitable distribution of resources, opportunities, and benefits to all citizens. The deployment of AI should be guided by principles that prioritise the welfare of all sections of society, especially marginalised communities.
Measures must be taken to bridge the digital divide, provide re-skilling opportunities, and mitigate the potential adverse impacts of AI on vulnerable groups.
Why Humans Are Not Completely Replaceable
While AI tools would obviously face the above-said constitutional challenges in courts, that apart, it is essential to recognise the unique qualities that humans bring to the table. There are still some reasons why humans should not be replaced by ChatGPT or any other AI-based conversational system.
One of the most significant limitations of AI chatbots is their inability to genuinely understand and empathise with human emotions. Humans possess emotional intelligence, which enables us to comprehend complex emotions, provide support, and build meaningful connections. In contrast, ChatGPT lacks the capacity to genuinely empathise, leading to impersonal and potentially unsatisfying interactions.
In various fields such as counselling, healthcare, and customer service, human empathy is crucial. Empathetic interactions foster trust, comfort, and emotional support, which are fundamental for addressing the diverse needs and concerns of individuals. Replacing humans with AI chatbots would risk compromising the quality of these essential human connections.
Human conversation involves a nuanced understanding of context, cultural nuances, and subtle cues. Humans possess the ability to adapt their communication style based on the individual they are interacting with, making the conversation more engaging and personalised.
ChatGPT, while impressive in its capabilities, lacks the contextual understanding and adaptability that humans inherently possess. In complex situations that require critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and flexibility, human intervention is irreplaceable. Humans can analyse unique circumstances, ask probing questions, and navigate ambiguity effectively. The diverse experiences and perspectives we bring to conversations enable us to provide tailored solutions and adapt our approach as necessary.
Ethics, Responsibilities, and Accountability
AI systems like ChatGPT operate based on pre-existing algorithms and data, which raise concerns about bias, fairness, and ethical decision-making. These systems can inadvertently perpetuate existing biases present in the training data, leading to discriminatory outcomes. Human oversight and intervention are essential to ensure that conversations remain unbiased, fair, and adhere to ethical standards.
Furthermore, humans can be held accountable for their actions and decisions. If a human makes a mistake or behaves unethically, they can be held responsible and face consequences. In contrast, holding AI systems accountable for their actions is significantly more challenging due to their complex algorithms and opaque decision-making processes. The absence of human oversight in conversations could lead to potential harm or misinformation going unchecked.
Human beings possess unique qualities such as creativity, intuition, and innovation, which have fuelled progress throughout history. These qualities enable us to think outside the box, generate novel ideas, and find unconventional solutions to complex problems. AI chatbots, constrained by their programming and data, lack the creative and intuitive capabilities that humans possess.
In fields such as marketing, design, and strategic planning, human creativity and intuition are invaluable. The ability to understand abstract concepts, interpret symbolism, and make imaginative connections cannot be replicated by AI chatbots. By embracing and harnessing human creativity, we can continue to push the boundaries of innovation and drive societal progress.
Do We Need AI Legislation?
As we observed, we can create more meaningful and impactful interactions that cater to the diverse needs of individuals in various domains by combining the strengths of AI with the inherent qualities of human beings.
Therefore, there is a need for legislation which proposes to have some minimum number of human employees in every entity. By doing so, the employers would have the combination of AI’s capabilities and human qualities to produce the best results and at the same time, it would minimise the constitutional concerns.
(Ravi Singh Chhikara and Rishabh Attri are practicing advocates at the Delhi High Court. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)