Artificial Intelligence As A Threat To Human Beings
The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence is called the Artificial Intelligence. The AI research is progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now, etc. are recent outcomes of the ongoing research. Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.
In the long term, an important question is what will happen if the mission AI succeeds and an AI system becomes better than humans. But according to experts, this is not the real issue. While considering the main issue, experts think two scenarios. First, the AI can be programmed to do something devastating. Autonomous weapons are artificial intelligence systems that are programmed to kill. In the hands of terrorists, these weapons could easily cause mass casualties. Second, when the AI is programmed to do something beneficial, but it develops a destructive method for achieving its goal. This can happen whenever we fail to fully align the AI’s goals with ours, which is strikingly difficult. For example, If you ask a car with AI feature to take you to the airport as fast as possible, it might get you there chased by police and covered in vomit, doing not what you wanted but literally what you asked for. As these examples illustrate, the concern about advanced AI isn’t malevolence but competence. A super-intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we have a problem.
Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, etc. have recently expressed concern in the media about the risks posed by AI. But there’s still a sense that more discussion needs to happen in order to find out what are the most critical threats, and what are the most practical solutions.
Need of Writing Off Bad Debts
Write-off is an accounting term. It refers to an action whereby the book value(or become worthless) of an asset is declared to be Zero. Assets can lose book value for a variety of reasons. A well-known situation which causes the write-off arises when a seller's accounts receivable assets become non-collectable. In that case, the seller writes off the debt by registering a Bad debt expense. A write-off (or write-down) is also called for when inventory assets lose some or all of their value. In any case, accounting write-offs serve two purposes. First, one of the most important purposes of write-offs is to create tax savings for asset owners. Write-offs reduce tax liability by creating (non-cash) expenses that result in lower reported income. Second, write-offs support accounting accuracy objectives.
Public sector banks (PSBs) in India has written off around Rs 2.42 lakh crore worth of loans between 2014 and 2017. The PSUs banks are facing a lot of debt. And thus, there arises a need to write off the debt so that the books of accounts can be made a bit smoother. Also, the Indian banks are targeting towards having a global presence and thus should have a better credit rating. A better credit rating will make borrowing of funds at cheaper rates from the market and then write off the NPA Non-Performing Assets) will strengthen the finances of the banks.
Writing off bad debts is a prudential measure to clean balance sheets of banks in conformity with RBI guidelines. By not writing off bad loans banks will lose interest. As a matter of fact, banks cannot charge interest in loan accounts which are overdue for more than 90 days (npa). By prudentially writing off loans, banks have the option of going to court/drt and adopt securitisation measures to realise the dues. And that is why, writing off is an important measure.
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