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Re-Markings, a biannual refereed international journal of English Letters, aims at providing a healthy forum for scholarly and authoritative views on broad sociopolitical and cultural issues of human import as evidenced in literature, art, television, cinema and journalism with special emphasis on New Literatures in English including translations and creative excursions.

A Biannual Refereed International
Journal of English Letters

ISSN 0972-611X

Impact Factor: 11.489

Vol.23 No.1
March 2024

Special Section:
Artificial Intelligence - Point Counter Point




Once upon a time, around 3500 years ago, Pythia – the priestess at the Oracular shrine of the Greek God Apollo in Delphi – uttered her divinely endowed prophecies about the future of her suppliants and answered the questions they came to her with. The visitors to the Delphic Oracle included one and all from Emperors and kings to common folks. Lovers of Greek literature may be aware of the power of the oracle at Delphi as portrayed by Sophocles in his immortal play, Oedipus the King. The opening words of the Chorus in the play refer to the ominous situation the plague had plunged Thebes into:


Great welcome voice of Zeus, what do you bring?

What word from the gold vaults of Delphi comes to brilliant Thebes? … Apollo, Healer of Delos

I worship you in dread … what now, what is your price?

Some new sacrifice? What will you bring to birth?

Tell me, child of golden Hope

Warm voice that never dies.

Herodotus also mentions in The Histories the reassuring words of the Oracle of Delphi: “I know the number of grains of sand and the extent of the sea; … I understand the deaf-mute and hear the words of the dumb.”

The prophecies of the priestess were so highly influential in deciding issues related not only to war and peace, life and death, but also to the day-to-day problems faced by the populace. For centuries, people made pilgrimages to the shrine in the hope of finding out resolutions to their pressing problems and to know what the future had in store for them.

In contemporary times, the ruins of the Oracle at Delphi (in central Greece) – excavated by the French Archaeological School during 1892-94 – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that figures among the popular tourist destinations worldwide. People throng here to see the breathtaking landscape reminiscent of the divine glory that the place had enjoyed in ancient times. For those interested in the prophetic voice of the Delphic Oracle, the ruins offer no solace.

However, with the outbreak of the AI revolution, one need not travel back 3500 years in time riding either on the wings of poesy or getting aboard H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine or travel hundreds of miles to visit to approach any oracular shrine. All one needs to do to seek answers to questions pertaining to any issue anywhere in the world today is simply tap on an app on the cell phone or with a click on the mouse on a pc.

The significance of the AI revolution and its impact has startled and bewildered the world as never before. The lightning pace of technological changes in the current era has moved far beyond the domain of ‘Future Shock’ that Alvin Toffler had talked about in the 1960s while engaged in research at IBM. Imagining the landscape of the future, grossly different from what the homo sapiens had been inhabiting for so long, kept creative minds deeply engrossed in contemplating what man could do with machines ever since Mary Shelley created her fantastic tale of ‘the creature’ designed by the scientist named Victor Von Frankenstein in her epoch-making novel titled Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (1818). Following on the footsteps of Mary Shelley, writers like Edgar Allan Poe, H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, Douglass Adams, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Issac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Arthur C Clarke, J. G. Ballard, Jack Finney, Diana Wynne Jones, Alan Moore, Margaret Atwood, Peter Cawdron, Daniel Suarez, Martha Wells, David Walton, among others, engaged their creative energies in strengthening the genre of science fiction with focus on futuristic scientific societies. Even a cursory view of the fictional creations of the above writers reveal an intricate working of the human mind in applying what we have come to recognise as Artificial Intelligence to societies of the past, present and the future for the purpose of human enhancement, transformation or transcen-dence through technology. In fact science fiction showed the possibilities of predicting and facilitating future innovations by providing a creative and critical lens to explore the potential implications of scientific and technological change.

If we look at the world today in terms of the way Artificial or Machine Intelligence is impacting lives, we can easily see that utopian as well as dystopian ideas, characters, images, instruments, gadgets, objects, metaphors, machines etc., that had hitherto been circumscribed to the pages of science fiction, have leapt out of their wordy confinements to occupy significant space in the realm of gross reality. What had appeared to be a dream or figment of imagination even ten to fifteen years ago has become tangible reality now. With the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence, predicting the future requires no oracular or mythological magic.

It is significant to note that the divergence of opinion expressed by stalwarts of the AI revolution about its utility or futility casts a shadow of ambiguity on the shape of things to come. While Twitter (now X) owner Elon Musk considers artificial intelligence as “the most disruptive force in history,” theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking talked of dangers like “powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many” posed by artificial intelligence that could “spell the end of the human race.” He anticipated, in November 2017, that “AI could take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate” …since “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

On the positive side, Sam Altman, CEO OpenAI, says with utmost confidence that “the technological progress that AGI will bring in the next 100 years will be far larger than all we’ve made since we first controlled fire and invented the wheel." Bill Gates, computer visionary and co-founder Microsoft, holds a balanced view as is evident from his statement:

The risks created by artificial intelligence can seem overwhelming. This is not the first time a major innovation has introduced new threats      that had to be controlled. In a moment like this, it’s natural to feel unsettled. But history shows that it’s possible to solve the challenges created by new technologies …. We’ve done it before.

It is natural to have great expectations from AI and its capacity to address pressing issues like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, diseases, climate change, war, famine, drought, privacy, security etc. that confront the inhabitants of planet Earth. Bill Gates rightly suggests that there is no need to despair for there always have been, and will always be, sensitive and committed human souls who will strive with commitment to harness the power of artificial intelligence for the betterment of humanity at large in tune with enduring values of life.

In this context it is worthwhile to mention the momentous arrival of ChatGPT on the current revolutionary AI scenario. What had so far been the ultimate domain of Lord Google and similar search engines in bringing the vast repertoire of knowledge and wisdom from time immemorial to the immediate present seems to have taken a back seat when compared to the promise of ChatGPT in transforming human lives. We all are possibly aware that ChatGPT is a chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched on November 30, 2022. When a friend shared his experience of what one could do with this new marvel, I decided to give it a try right away.

As I opened the Chatbot on my laptop, what instantly appeared on the screen were the words: “Hello! How can I help you?” I was a little startled because the willingness of a machine to offer its services to man seemed to be in sync with Gandhi’s idea that machine was made for man and not man for the machine. In a spirit of playfulness, I placed my wish on the screen with the words, “Give me a poem on Re-Markings, please.” Pat came the response before I could count 1 to 10: “Here is a poem I wrote for you inspired by Re-Markings”:

Re-Markings is not just a name

But a vision of a world aflame

With the fire of words and ideas

That challenge the norms and fears


Re-Markings is not just a journal

But a platform for the eternal

Quest for truth and beauty

That transcends all duty


Re-Markings is not just a publication

But a celebration of creation

That showcases diverse voices

And offers multiple choices


Re-Markings is not just a mosaic

But a symphony of the mystic

That harmonizes the discordant

And makes the mundane brilliant.

I reflected on the content and expression of the machine-created poem and felt flattered for a moment. Without being misled by any mistaken impression of greatness, I began to wonder at the amazing creative capacity of artificial intelligence to appropriate human thought and expression to an incredible extent. Consequently, it led to the decision to create space in the current issue for showcasing diverse approaches to understand the nuances and far-reaching ramifications of “Artificial Intelligence.” Subtitled “Point Counter Point,” after Aldous Huxley’s 1928 novel, the special section offers narratives related to man-machine interface from the perspective of lived experience as well as study of literature. While the legendary Satyajit Ray’s short story “Anukul” sets the ball rolling, the distinguished presence of Dr. Amar Gupta, eminent Computer Scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, makes the section extra special. Contributions by other scholars included in the section have decisively enhanced the range and scope of the AI discourse.

Consistent with the journal’s aim to provide an effective platform for dissemination of authoritative views on sociopolitical and cultural views of national and global import, the general section presents a rich array of reminiscences, essays and discourses that address the human predicament not only in the present era of turmoil and conflict but also through the exploration of ancient myths and wisdom of the ages. The agonies of those living on the margins of society in different parts of the globe figure here as prominently as the ecstasies of poets engaged in painting the portrait of life with variant forms of colour and emotion. Be it artificial intelligence or human wisdom, what needs to remain uppermost in the scale of values is what one of the inscriptions on the entrance to the Delphic oracle tells us: “know thyself.”

While thanking all our readers and contributors, I deem it an honour to dedicate this unique edition to the creative genius of Sandeep K. Arora for his unfailing love in enriching each issue of Re-Markings with his exquisitely beautiful cover design and graphic support. THANK YOU, Sandeep.

Nibir K. Ghosh

Chief Editor


Special Section

Artificial Intelligence


Anukul - Satyajit Ray

Translated from the Bengali by Manas Bakshi / 9


Transformation of Lives and Artificial Intelligence:

A Conversation with Amar Gupta

Nibir K. Ghosh / 15


Is Orwellian ‘Big Brother’ Watching Us?

Deepa Chaturvedi / 31


The Human Teacher v/s EdTech: Proactive

Strategies for Relevance and Survival

Urvashi Sabu / 38


Artificial Intelligence and Landscapes of Imagination 

Tanya Mander / 43


Ethical and Moral Dilemmas of AI in Isaac Asimov’s  I, Robot

Saurabh Agarwal / 50


Literature-Technology Interface

Pallavi Sharma Goyal / 56


The AI Renaissance and the Urgency for

Revival of Humanism: A Study of 

Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan’s AI 2041 

Samapti Saha / 61


Technology and the First World War

Deep Priya Pabbi / 69


Viewpoints from California - Jonah Raskin  

The Fraud: Zadie Smith’s Neo-Victorian Novel / 76

Indigenous: The Killers of the Flower Moon on the

Page and the Screen / 79


‘I volunteered, transporting sick Palestinian children

to hospitals — it hardly seems possible anymore’

Joanna Chen / 81


Moral Conflicts in Girish Karnad’s Bali: The Sacrifice

Mukesh Ranjan Verma / 84

Mapping the Landscape of Life in the Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra

Sudhir K. Arora / 92


Gendered Ageism: A Study of Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Those Days

Minakshi Lahkar / 104


The Materiality of Indian Thought

Dev Vrat Sharma / 111


Dewdrops on Embers: Deconstructing the Chequered Tropes of Existential Agonies in Lisa Suhair Majaj’s Geographies of Light 

Rakhi Vyas / 118


Reshaping the Idiom: Protest Motif in Hansda

Sowvendra Shekhar’s short story “The Adivasi Will Not Dance”

Achal Sinha & Saurav Kumar Singh / 124


Intersection of New Mestiza Consciousness and

Mesotopian Reality in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Vibha Bhoot / 131


Indian Cinema: A Narrative of Violence Against Women

Shweta Awasthi / 140


Cinematic Variations of Victor Hugo’s

Les Misérables: A Comparative Study

Jatinder Kumar / 147

Review Essay

Howard Zinn as Voice of the Voiceless: Teginder’s Lokai di Awaz

Navjot Khosla / 154

Contemporary Issues in Amruta Patil’s Kari

Richa / 159

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