Does Jugalbandi Mean De-casting?

June 1, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[1]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

I read “Microsoft Launches Jugalbandi: An AI Powered Platform and Chatbot to Bridge Information Gap in India.” India connotes for me spicy food and the caste system. My understanding of this term comes from Wikipedia which says:

The caste system in India is the The caste system in India is the paradigmatic ethnographic instance of social classification based on castes. It has its origins in ancient India, and was transformed by various ruling elites in medieval, early-modern, and modern India, especially the Mughal Empire and the British Raj.

Like me, the Wikipedia can be incorrect, one-sided, and PR-ish.

The Jugalbandi write up contains some interesting statements which I interpret against my understanding of the Wikipedia article about castes in India. Here’s one example:

Microsoft, a pioneer in the artificial intelligence (AI) field, has made significant strides with its latest venture, Jugalbandi. This generative AI-driven platform and chatbot aim to revolutionize access to information about government initiatives and public programs in India. With nearly 22 official languages and considerable linguistic variations in the country, Jugalbandi seeks to address the challenges in disseminating information effectively.

I wonder if Microsoft’s pioneering smart software (based largely upon the less than open and often confused OpenAI technology) will do much to “address the challenges in disseminating information effectively.”

Wikipedia points out:

In 1948, negative discrimination on the basis of caste was banned by law and further enshrined in the Indian constitution in 1950; however, the system continues to be practiced in parts of India. There are 3,000 castes and 25,000 sub-castes in India, each related to a specific occupation.

If law and every day behavior have not mitigated castes and how these form fences in India and India outposts in London and Silicon Valley, exactly what will Microsoft (the pioneer in AI) accomplish?

My hunch the write up enshrines:

  1. The image of Microsoft as the champion of knocking down barriers and allowing communication to flow. (Why does smart Bing block certain queries?)
  2. Microsoft’s self-professed role as a “pioneer” in smart software. I think a pioneer in clever Davos messaging is closer to the truth.
  3. The’s word salad about something that may be quite difficult to accomplish in many social, business, and cultural settings.

Who created the concept of untouchables?

Stephen E Arnold, June 1, 2023


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta