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Sine Institute holds seminar discussing role of new technologies in society

Manisha Singh discussed AI’s changing impact on society

Manisha Singh tests the boundaries of generative AI and explores its growing impact in the workplace in her four-part seminar series as a fellow with the Sine Institute. 

Drawing on her experiences with technology as the founder and principal of Sunstone Strategy Group and former assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Economics and Business Affairs, she discussed the importance of including women’s voices in entrepreneurship in the second installment of the series.  

“Welcome to today’s seminar on the innovation economy, where we explore the dynamic landscape of innovation, entrepreneurship and the transformative power of technology in shaping our future,” Manisha Singh said in her opening remarks on March 26.

“Let us approach this conversation with open minds, boundless curiosity, and shared commitment to shaping a future that is not only technologically advanced but also equitable, sustainable and humane,” Singh said. “Let us dare to build a better tomorrow for generations to come.”   

But Singh soon revealed these comments were written by ChatGPT. This revelation opened the conversation to explore AI’s impacts further, the theme of her lecture. 

Singh said some job markets will be more efficient when using AI, while it could replace other jobs. She said learning from others’ experiences will be critical to adapting to the workforce.

“There are aspects to human intelligence that it will be very difficult for artificial intelligence or robotics to be able to emulate,” Singh said. “The most important qualities that the future workforce should retain are … good judgment, critical thinking abilities, and how to look through a situation logically to determine the best course and best result.”

Singh went on to discuss how AI can be used both responsibly and maliciously. 

“This is a societal existential issue that governments and regulators across the world will have to think about,” she said. “I think that the magnitude of issues in day-to-day things that arise for our government officials prevents them from spending necessary time to truly understand something as complex as generative AI.”

Singh discussed the importance of using AI responsibly, particularly in regard to social issues such as equal educational opportunity, saying that “we have to do proactive outreach to be able to find places where people need help.” 

As a founder of the POWER Initiative — a program that promotes women in economics and entrepreneurship, Singh discussed the program’s importance.

“There are a lot of women’s networking organizations, women in economics, great organizations, but I wanted to take these organizations and give them the resources to fill these [resource] gaps,” she said. 

Singh concluded by speaking on the need to uplift women and ensure that everyone is provided equal educational opportunities and the chance for success. 

“If everyone’s not included, some of your best ideas may never be factored in,” Singh said. “What if one of the young women who was going to school was the brilliant mind that was going to find the cure to breast cancer … so it’s not just about her, it’s about the change that she could have made in society.” 

This article was edited by Kathryn Squyres, Abigail Turner and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks, Isabelle Kravis and Ariana Kavoossi. 

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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