Of AI- both artificial and ancient…

After long, I chanced upon a book that gave me the movie equivalent of a blockbuster entry scene – the prelude blew me away!

I’ve been reading up a lot on AI (Artificial Intelligence for the uninitiated) and unlike the crypto space, this is actually real. And exciting and terrifying both at the same time. The thought that something as powerful as Chat GPT (and it’s latest 4.0 iteration) represents the mere beginning of what’s to come evokes strong sentiment, and is has been unleashed onto the unsuspecting public in a way that top tech leaders have already called for a pause in further developments in this field until some ground rules are established. Easier said than done!

Ok so this book is called Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and it’s written by Max Tegmark. I had started another book this morning, on the same subject, but that was a laborious read – not because it wasn’t interesting – but because it went into much more detail that I wanted to at this point in time. So I chanced upon this book and wow – fantastic beginning!

Ok will keep you posted on that as and when I come across the good stuff – which I suspect is going to be quite often. Back to ancient wisdom – and the Devi Mahātmyam. Navrātri may be over – but the changes will take a lifetime, so might as well keep up:)

and, after letting out a loud roar, fell to the ground, lifeless.

The asura armies now started to flee, seeing the once-powerful Raktabīja killed in combat. Niśumba rushed ahead with his forces, and Śumba too joined in with his, as they directed their rage at Devi Chandika.

A great battle followed. Śumba and Niśumba rained down arrows on the Devi, and she responded by splitting their arrows with hers. Niśumba hit the lion on the head, and tried to attack the Devi with his spear. She quickly reduced it to ashes, and struck him with her arrows, severely wounding him.

Seeing Niśumba on the ground, Śumba got furious, and standing in his chariot, covered the entire sky with his eight arms and his weapons, and advanced menacingly towards the Devi. Seeing him approach her, the Devi blew her conch and with a twang of her bow, filled the earth and the sky with the reverberation of her intentions. The asuras trembled as they saw Kālī roaring in anticipation and this enraged Śumba even more. He rushed towards Chandika, only to run into her spear as she pierced his arm. He fell to the ground, wounded.

Niśumba saw this, and quickly created a huge form of himself with ten thousand arms, and hurled ten thousand chakras at the Devi. She split each of them with her arrows, and shot an arrow splitting his mace into two. Niśumba grabbed his spear and threw it at the Devi, but it missed, and she held her own spear and in a moment, pierced his heart with it.

From Niśumba’s heart sprung another being, who shouted at the Devi to stop, but the Devi didn’t, and she severed his head with her sword, as it dropped to the ground, it’s life taken from it.

The Devi and her śaktis quickly ran through the rest of Niśumba’s army, and all his generals and soldiers met the same fate as the great asura.

Seeing the dead body of his younger brother, Śumba shouted at the Devi “O Durga, you are arrogant and conceited. You depend on others to fight your battles, and think highly of yourself. Fight me alone, if you have the courage!”

The Devi retorted “I alone exist in this Universe, oh wicked asura. These are but manifestations of my own power!” And as she said this, the various śaktis merged into her own body, and Devi Ambika alone remained. “O Śumba, all my manifestations have merged into me, and I stand alone. What are you waiting for?”

Then began the deadly battle between the Devi and Śumba, and all the devas and asuras watched. Showers of arrows came down on both sides, as they engaged in a combat that shook the three worlds. The asura king tore through all the arrows and spears that the Devi hurled at him, and the Devi shattered his arrows into thousands of pieces. She destroyed his weapons, and then his horses, his chariot, bow, and mace.

Śumba leapt from his chariot and tried to hit the Devi with his fists. The Devi struck him on the chest, making him fall to the ground. He sprung back, and jumped high into the sky, seizing the Devi and pulling her along with him. They fought in the skies, toe to toe, until the Devi lifted him, whirled him around and threw him to the ground. As he tried to get up, she grabbed her spear and pierced his chest with it, thus bringing him to his end. Śumba died, and the devas rejoiced. Their tormentor was no more, and dharma had once again been restored.