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‘Friend not a foe’: Infosys founder Narayana Murthy compares advent of Gen AI to installation of ATMs

Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy believes that generative artificial intelligence (AI), like any other technology will help improve human productivity. Murthy, a strong advocate of technology, has addressed the concerns surrounding the potential misuse and job loss associated with the latest technological disruption Gen AI.
In an interview with ET, Murthy has interestingly drawn a comparison between the advent of Gen AI to ATMs.Murthy believes that Gen AI will enhance human productivity and contribute to solving complex problems, as technology has consistently done in the past.
Murthy emphasized his belief that when used appropriately, technology will boost productivity, enable humans to tackle previously unsolvable issues, and drive economic growth.
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While acknowledging the concerns about the increasing misuse and criminal activities related to Gen AI, Murthy stressed that apart from specific cases, we should allow technologies to replace us when there is a greater benefit to humanity.
Recalling a personal experience from 1995, when Infosys installed an ATM on its campus, likely the first at any corporate site, Murthy shared an anecdote about standing in line behind a support staff member.
Murthy recalled the employee saying, “Sir, this machine that you have installed, the ATM, whether you go or I go, [it] gives us money without any reaction in the same amount of time. It doesn’t abuse me. While a bank branch teller would discriminate against me.”
Murthy said this incident highlighted how technology can be a great equalizer, treating everyone fairly regardless of their position or status.
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He pointed out that the sector has witnessed significant growth and job creation since the integration of technology.
Murthy further illustrated the convenience brought by technology, using the example of income tax refunds. He mentioned that with the help of technology, refunds are now processed digitally within 48 hours, which is a significant improvement from the weeks-long process in the past. “And so, convenience for users has improved significantly,” Murthy added.

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