Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Wednesday spent the first half of his day with Silicon Valley-based startup entrepreneurs, known for doing path-breaking work in the field of Artificial Intelligence and cutting-edge technologies.
Sitting in the front row of the Plug and Play auditorium along with Indian Overseas Congress chairperson Sam Pitroda and some other key aides who have been travelling with him from India, Gandhi was seen engrossed in the panel discussion of experts on various aspects of artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and their implications on mankind in general and on issues like governance, social welfare measures and also disinformation and misinformation.
Based out of Sunnyvale in California, the Plug and Play Tech Centre is one of the largest incubator of startups. According to its CEO and Founder Saeed Amidi, more than 50 per cent of the startups founder at Plug and Play have been Indians or Indian Americans. Amidi told PTI after the event that Gandhi has shown a deep understanding of the IT sector and his knowledge of latest and cutting edge technologies are quite impressive.
Participating in a fireside chat with Amidi and Shaun Shankaran, founder of FixNix Startup, Gandhi tried to link all the technologies with the impact this would have on the common man in the remote villages of India.
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”If you want to spread any technology in India, you have to have a system where power is relatively decentralized,” he said in response to a question and then went on to share with the select group of invited entrepreneurs about his personal experience of drone technology and its regulation, which, according to him, ”faced massive bureaucratic hurdles”.
Data, Gandhi said, is the new gold and countries like India have realized the real potential of it. ”There is need to have appropriate regulations on data safety and security”.
However, on the issue of Pegasus spyware and similar technologies, Gandhi told the audience he is not worried about it. At one point of time he said he knows his phone is being tapped. And jokingly said, ”Hello! Mr Modi” on his iPhone.
”I presume my iPhone is being tapped. You need establish rules with regard to privacy of data information as a nation and also as an individual,” he said.
”If a nation state decides that they want to tap your phone, no one can stop you. This is my sense,” he said. ”If the nation is interested in tapping phone, then this is not a battle worth fighting. I think whatever I do and work, is available to the government,” he claimed.
Shankaran, who hosted Gandhi for the AI event at Plug and Play, said he is very much impressed about the knowledge he has shown about the latest developments in technology.