Hyderabad boy wins big

18-year-old IIIT-Hyderabad student Mukund Choudhary makes it to the top 20 and gets travel funding for Peter Drucker Forum

By Author  |  Published: 15th Nov 2018  7:59 pm

Every year, the Peter Drucker Society Europe unveils a unique essay contest, titled The Drucker Challenge, inviting original ideas and thoughts from students and young professionals all over the world.

With this year’s theme, “How to stay human in a robot society”, the challenge invited opinions on how Peter Drucker would react if he met his android twin today and if Drucker’s human-centred approach would be of any help in maintaining the face of society in the context of AI.

First-year student Mukund Choudhary, from the computational linguistics dual degree course in IIIT-Hyderabad, has bagged the Special Recognition Award for the most original essay in the student category.

Mukund is among the top 20 of the finalists who have been selected through a rigorous two-stage jury process out of 470 submissions from 60 countries for free access to the prestigious 10th Global Peter Drucker forum to be held in Vienna on November 29 and 30. As winner of the special award, he also stands to receive travel funding for the gala event.

Keeping in mind the contest’s mandate of providing personal insights into the theme, Mukund’s essay on “Who’s The Moron?” debates whether it is the computer, or man himself who is smarter. Laced with quotes by Peter Drucker, and authentic news headlines from early this year, Mukund makes a compelling narrative for whether or not Peter Drucker’s human-centred approach can be applied to a society in the age of AI.

He asks, “Can we create something that creates creativity or imagine something that imagines imagination, all the while respecting and growing humans and their values?”

With examples of self-driving cars that can’t handle exceptions yet, notifications that distract more than notify, social networks that are more of suicidal tools, Mukund explains how AI hasn’t taken over the human world yet, and how we could co-exist with it, helping it reach greater heights.

He concludes with his creative and unique retelling of Moshidora, an anime series based on the novel by Natsumi Iwasaki (all 10 episodes) aligned with this year’s theme.

Mukund says that quizzing, linguistics and competitive interest have given him fully sponsored international trips in the past too. “I have been to Switzerland where I got the 1st prize in the Travel Quest quiz, Ireland (for the 2017 International Linguistics Olympiad), China (for a quiz on Indo-Chinese relationship), and look forward to visiting Austria now for the Peter Drucker conference,” he says.

By interacting with renowned personalities, thought leaders and speakers from the world of management, and academia, Mukund hopes to gain experience and exposure at the forum.