2 Minute Speech on Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Mankind!

Hi friends,

Every age has its scientific discoveries and inventions. But today’s scientific advancements can impact globally in very short time. Such is the progress made in the field of artificial intelligence or AI.

AI is in simple terms machines and computers learning, thinking and doing what human intelligence does. Instead of doing certain tasks repeatedly, with AI, machines operate from data that we feed them with to recognize human voices, use human language, drive cars or even the ability to suggest the next course of treatment or an article or book you might like to read.

Artificial Intelligence is something which impacts our everyday life. If you have ever used the Google search engine they give you optimized, so near to what you asked for results based on AI. On the other extreme AI is used in Robotics and even in weaponry which can function without human aid.

Now let me ask this vital question, why is there a surge in the field of AI? Several thrusts can be pointed out. But science and technology is trying to create a super intelligence that can outperform human beings not just in specific tasks but in complex cognitive activity which includes decision-making, problem-solving, memory, speech recognition, attention and judgement.

This can lead mankind to a life of ease like never known before when lot of what they had to perform is done to perfection with the help of AI aided robots or machines. But then there is a danger here. What if AI through some chance or misjudged human calculation acquires smarter intelligence that can control human beings or wreck disasters unheard of?

Yes, there are benefits of AI that we are yet to see that far outweighs these assumed dangers. Maybe no one can stop the march of science or those with scientific pursuit and perseverance who are passionately working in the R & D of AI. Soon someday what many thought as Science Fiction, which people read about in novels or watched in movies as future becomes real and operational now.

If AI creates automated jobs in plenty, will that replace much of human skill and labour? That might be an interesting question of concern to many. Or will AI create more careers or at least offer a few career paths which intelligent kids might be tempted to pursue?

Well, let me conclude. There was a time called the beginning when God created man in his image and likeness. But man running independent of God is capable of acts and deeds that mar the purpose for which man was created. We see the impact of that in the environment as well as in senseless destruction through wars and man’s greed.

Likewise AI created by man to have the complex ability to think and act like human beings can act in destructive mode if something goes wrong. Hacking and programming errors or even robots starting to communicate with each other in a language man will not be able to understand can well be the nightmare of tomorrow.

As the world’s leading technology Companies are competing with each other to show the world their prowess through pioneering AI; as efforts are being made to deify AI to semi-god status, robots can some day gain enough intelligence to challenge the might of man. Though it might be in the future, we might lose our sleep on it this very night.

Thank you.

Do robots care? Is there someone who cares? There are moments of despair in every human life when one wished for Someone who cared; isn’t it?

2 Minute Speech on the Meaning of Death!

(A sequel to 2 Minute Speech on the Meaning of Life!)

Hi friends,

Life is all that we have.

One life, and then what? is a big question. If man’s philosophies offer some light when death’s call is sounded then certainly man has no need of God. But are all men and women confident that they can face death’s final call? It is a debatable question indeed.

Now let us move to the beginning. The Bible makes a simple and profound statement as its opening line. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). A person’s knowledge of God begins or ends here. If he finds it hard to believe that God is the Creator of what he sees and experiences around him; then he can only believe in chance and in evolution.

Now for a moment let us believe that everything evolved. How does it explain decay and death? Why is that man does not live for ever in spite of the fact that most efforts of mankind are directed at extending the quality and longevity of life?

Why is it that no better statement than one made by Moses in the Bible portrays reality like no other: “The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10)? The truth is that death is the reality that all confront.

You might say there are reasons for death. But my question is why does death happen? It is because God exists! Just as surely are there laws of nature like the law of gravity there are moral laws that God has set in place in this earth. It is the violation of God’s moral laws that has brought death to man.

And here is how the death sentence was pronounced on man. God said, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return (Genesis 3:19).”

In other words, death came into this world because of man’s rebellion against God. It is a fact that God created man to live for ever and also he intended man to live in dependence on him. The Bible again says, “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD (Deuteronomy 8:3).”

The fall of man came about because he yielded to the temptation of doubting God’s word. For the first temptation came in these words, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1b). Death resulted when God’s word was doubted and when man chose to run his life independently of God.

Today also the scene is no different. Everywhere people are confronted with this choice. To chose to believe what God has said or to run his life as if God does not exist. But the reality of death compels us to think a second time about the meaning of life and death.

Of course, we do not have all the answers. But seen from God’s eyes life and death has meaning. For life becomes meaningful when you understand that God has a purpose in your creation. And death is a mystery that points out to you the misery, agony, pain and anguish of separation.

If separation from a loved one can give this much pain, it also points to the pain in the heart of God to see the crown of his creation–men and women created in his own image and likeness–separated from him through rebellion and sin. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death . . .” That is the bad news. But it puts things in perspective as to why death came into this world.

For the moment let us pursue the question of pain. Does God feel pain? At least there are two thoughts we can think about. One, the shortest verse in the Bible which says, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35). That was in front of the tomb of his friend Lazarus. That means God in flesh experienced the pain of separation of a loved one.

But greater was the pain of separation he felt when he laid down his life shedding his blood on the cross. He cried out to God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Yes, God in human flesh died.

So when we think of ultimate questions of life–injustice, inequality, suffering, cruelty, war, disabilities, diseases, and death–we do not have all the answers. But we have the companionship of one who tasted death for us. That alone is our comfort. The knowledge that he knows what it feels like. The assurance that he understands the void and vacuum the loss of someone leaves behind.

Now let me come back to the good news. I quoted earlier, “For the wages of sin is death.” Let me now quote it in full. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

That gives it a totally different colour. It shows us that God tasted death so that we can have life. Not just life in human terms; but life which is the very life of God; of the same quality and unending. It shows us that those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead will share the same experience.

Yes, the good news is that there is life beyond the final curtain. And you too can have it when you trust and believe in the One who made this stupendous claim, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die”(John 11:25, 26).

Life is too short. And it is unpredictable as well. No one knows when his call to meet God will come. For “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27). Therefore prepare to meet your God!*
All Bible Quotes are from the New International Version (NIV).
*Amos 4:12
“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” — Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:17).
Speech on Respect
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

2 Minute Speech for Students on Democracy

Hi Friends,

Loudspeakers blaring with appeals to vote for a particular candidate.
Banners, flags, and colourful posters waved by rallying masses.
Speeches spitting fire. Debates and arguments.
Motorcades and walks and marches.
House to house campaigns. Leaflets and pamphlets being distributed.
Candidates appearing on television.

Well, here in these images that flashed across your mind’s eye the gateway opens to your understanding of democracy. Let us forget the excitement of elections for a moment. And ask ourselves, What is democracy? Let us try to find out.

Freedom that brings responsibility, to borrow a thought from Nehru’s Tryst with Destiny speech, is the bedrock of democracy. Its power is vested in people or as the word democracy literally means “rule of the people.” Leadership that arises out of the people’s will and mandate is what drives a democracy forward.

The right to free speech as well as the right to choose are fundamental to democracy. One way to look at democracy is the way oration of leaders have played in shaping history. Even the popular definition of democracy as “government of the people, by the people, for the people” is the concluding thought of Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.

Democracy thrives when there is a free flow of ideas.
It thrives when the dignity of individuals and their basic rights are upheld, preserved and cherished.
It thrives when oppositions are strong and bring forth constructive criticism of government policies.
Of course, where there are constitutions, the judiciary plays a significant and vital role in upholding the values enshrined in the constitution. When respect to the legislature, the law-making body of democracy is violated then it is the first step to the disintegration of democratic values.

The challenges of democracy are many:
The kind of corruption that is rampant in democratic institutions is phenomenal.
Criminalization of politics is another.
The dearth of women representation is an area of concern when half of the population is women.
Regional parties playing a kingmaker’s role in national politics is not desirable as it weakens the national outlook.
The lack of political will in implementing beneficial policies is often seen when governments play vote bank appeasing politics.
These are some serious challenges faced by democracy. Even then much good has been done in terms of equality, justice for all, freedom of speech and religion, and inclusion of the weaker and marginalized sections of society into the mainstream of public life, education, employment and the like.

Again, the role of the media as shaping public opinion is worthy of consideration. That is why whenever a dictator takes over in a democracy his first act is to shut down and put a curb on all media. In this 21st century, technology in the form of internet and social media has made everyone capable of contributing their ideas and critiques. This has created greater visibility to politicians and also it acts as a deterrent as anything done wrong can instantly go viral.

Democracy is best seen when governments are voted out of power. It reminds great leaders and their political parties that ultimately it is people who reign and they are at best ministers or servants of the masses.

To conclude, there is no other better or satirical presentation of democracy than found in G. B. Shaw’s preface to The Apple Cart. He says that “I am going to ask you to begin our study of Democracy by considering it first as a big balloon, filled with gas or hot air, and sent up so that you shall be kept looking up at the sky whilst other people are picking your pockets.”

But not all is negative about democracy. What is now required is for people to become more aware and educated about the power of their vote; how important it is to exercise their franchise when they get a chance to do so.

Even as political slogans and sound bites still sway the hearts and minds of the masses;
even as the excitement and frenzy of campaigning takes over every few years;
the hope expressed by Abraham Lincoln will live on:
the “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth!”

Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen, here introducing the man who is timeless yet historical. He appeals to you not by his power or majesty; but by his meekness and humility and because he is truly a servant-leader. Above all; on top of a hill he stood for you like no one else ever did! >>

Featured image: Three children curiously watching a political rally in progress in Thiruvananthapuram, capital city of Kerala.

A Speech on Mobile Phones: Boon or Bane!

Hi Friends,

Mobile phones have changed the way people communicate. Everywhere you see people talking over phone while on the move.

For many people life revolves around mobile phones. The advantage is that you can keep in touch with people with ease. You can maintain friendships and relationships. Through mobile phones and a variety of apps, distances and memories are bridged in real time. It is nothing less than amazing what technology has wrought through mobile phones.

That is about connection.

Another advantage is the sense of security it gives to people. For example elderly parents when alone at home can get in touch with their children in an instant in case of an emergency. Mothers can keep in constant touch with their daughters while they travel alone. Or even if your vehicle gets punctured on the road or meets with an accident you can call for help right from there. These advantages cannot be overlooked.

That is about confidence.

Third advantage is that most mobile phones give you access to world wide web and the information super highway. Knowledge is just a search away. Whether it be referring to a dictionary, or looking up “how to” do something in a Youtube video, or gathering information from Wikipedia, websites, blogs and the like; people find it at lightning speed with the help of search engines like google.

That is about comprehension.

If you still try to analyze the benefits of mobile phones it includes banking, shopping, purchasing tickets, photography, music and to mention the ease of switching on the light in case of a sudden power cut. In that sense some people say mobiles are extension of their hands.

That is about convenience.

So, the benefits of mobile phones can be summed up in four words: Connection, Confidence, Comprehension, and Convenience.

Now let me mention how mobile phones can become a bane.

First and foremost mobile phones can easily make people addicted to its use. The long hours people spend on mobile phones certainly steal from quality time you can spend at work, with family and friends. In other words mobile phones are a distraction preventing you from sharply focusing on your task ahead.

That is about distraction.

Secondly, people do use mobile phones to engage in secretive relationships. It is used to violate private spaces including the sacred marriage relationship. Somehow Facebook, WhatsApp and other apps have given a sense of ease and a false sense of freedom to people to engage in clandestine relationships. This has destroyed many families. Children are growing up seeing their parents spend long hours chatting with strangers neglecting their family responsibilities. Of course, you might call me outdated when I say so. But I prefer to be labelled than to stop saying the truth. Let me repeat again, this is a dangerous aspect of mobile phones.

That is about demolition.

Yet another negative of mobile phones is the damage it does to one’s body in the long run. Whether radiation is causing harm or not is still debated. But today we find people engaging with their mobiles with heads bowed down. There are people who injure their necks and back and wrists and eyes and ears because of long use of mobile phones. How can I fail to point out the great number of accidents caused by people using mobile phones while driving.

That is about destruction.

Finally, what about the market influence of mobiles? Why is there such flashy media hype about new mobiles arriving at the market? Why is it that even selfies, a kind of social disease,  are made the stuff of advertisements? It is amazing to see how people get so choosy and obsessed with gadgets. Mobiles beyond their functionality and variety of uses often becomes a style statement. It becomes synonymous with a man’s purchasing power and social status. Gadgets and their possession is a terribly deluded way to compute one’s attempt to define the meaning of one’s life.

That is about display.

Let me once again note the four words related to the negative influences of mobiles: Distraction, Demolition, Destruction and Display.

Now that both sides have been heard and let me conclude.

None of us today can afford to avoid mobile phones. But certainly we can ensure that mobile phones are our servants and not our masters. We can fix boundaries for the time we spend with mobile phones; boundaries that should not be stretched or crossed. We can then live with dignity with the assurance that mobile phones serve our cause and that they will not dictate us to a life of bondage and slavery and unending boredom with so called entertainment.

Choose life and not death!

Thank you.

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” — Jesus Christ (Luke 12:15 Bible)

A Speech on the Importance of English

2 Minute Speech for School Children on Today Is a Special Day!

Respected teachers and my dear friends,

Isn’t it amazing to be alive today? Well, some of you might have started thinking, “What’s so special about today?” Good question.

But let me ask you, “Is it not because we take so many things for granted that we do not see today as special?” Right from the fact that we woke up this morning and the sun rose there are many things to be thankful for; isn’t it? That is why I started off saying it is amazing to be alive today.

Let me say it once again that today is a special day. Today is a very special day because it is God’s gift to us. That is why it is called the Present. Therefore a wise utilization of the present is what gives meaning to life as well.

Today is a special day because it gives you an opportunity to do things you had always loved to do. Today presents us with opportunity to do good. This day gives us a chance to love others and encourage the weak. For the Bible says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.”*

Today is a special day again because it allows you to dream; dreams that will ignite your capability to soar above all that pulls you down. Today is a very special day because it gives us a chance to act on our dreams and achieve our goals. That is why Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream today.” He said that because today’s dream is tomorrow’s reality.

Finally, today gives you an opportunity to make peace with God and men. For there are many who earnestly desire to do so but miss the chance altogether. So value today as very special and cherish the moments you get to meet and talk and spend time with people you hold dear to your heart.

So my dear friends, the sun rises and it sets. Perhaps yesterday saw you make some mistake and fail. Do not wallow in self-pity and doubt about your own ability. Rise from your bed of despair. And God’s light will shine on your paths. For you can never underestimate the awesome possibility of forgiveness and a new beginning God offers to you today.

Yes friends, it is amazing to be alive today. And because of compelling reasons mentioned earlier, today is a very special day! Yes, yesterday is gone, tomorrow might never come. So let us grab the present moment and live life to the fullest for today is a very special day.

Let me end with the words of Jesus Christ who said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”* Therefore let us not postpone for tomorrow what can be done today.

Thank you.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!
*Proverbs 3:27, Matthew 6:34

“Today, if you hear his [God’s] voice, do not harden your hearts”

— Hebrews 3:15 Bible.

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”

— Psalm 118:24 Bible

Read Original 1 Minute Version of the Speech Today Is a Special Day!

Do Films Influence Youth?

And the Oscar for the best director goes to . . .

The world listens in eager anticipation to these words every year.

Yes, films have entertained the world for so many decades now. With technology at one’s finger tips watching movies happens at one’s leisure through mobiles and tablets as well.

But the nagging question is about the influence of movies on youth. Does society influence films or do films influence society? Especially youngsters.

It is true that many script writers find their plots from what they see, hear and experience in society. It is also true that some books have been made into great movies as well.

At the same time we need to consider the impact of the big screen or the silver screen on youngsters.

The first thought is about role models. Youngsters shape their thoughts and subject their emotions to the way their favourite film stars speak and act. Many forget to remember that what is shown on screen is idealistic and not realistic.

The second concern is about violence and crime. Many movies show violence. In many cases we find that those who do these crimes are not duly punished. So movies influence youth to consider violence as a justifiable means to achieve their goals in life.

Thirdly, we need to consider wrong signals some movies communicate about relationships. For example the divine institution of the family is constantly under threat. Several movies portray wrong relationships in a glamorous and desirable manner. This undermines the cherished values of marriage and family.

Again, we have to ask the reason why people rush to the theatres to watch movies? Isn’t it because there is an irresistible pull when a new film is released? If there is no pleasure or entertainment will people especially the youth throng to the movies?

Sometimes it is the dance and the music, at times it is the cinematography or choreography that makes people crowd at the movies. Often films influence youth not only in fashions but also speech patterns. The youngsters learn to use curse words and four letter words from popular English movies.

Again, movies often show physical abuse and violence against women. In a good number of films, women are shown as objects to be desired than as persons to be valued, cherished and respected. Of course not all films portray women negatively. Some do show women at their best in family life as well as careers. But “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”*

Movies also equate money with success, and glamour and beauty a with social acceptability. The flood of such movies cannot be counteracted by the good movies that show courage, heroism, sacrifice, moral values, and patriotic fervour. It is also to be noted that the glorification of scientific fiction in Sci-Fi movies almost desensitize youth to see the real needs of human beings like poverty and injustice around them.

The larger than life images that appear on screen, the glossy images of film stars that are too unreal and appearing on magazine covers and pullouts, the love stories that pepper films; all do influence youth mostly negatively. Immoral lifestyles seen in movies are often imitated by youth in real life.

Whether youngsters know to choose the good and leave the bad is a question that I leave open ended.

Thank you.

Quote on Leaven, Galatians 5:9, Bible.

The Tree of Life!
The Joy of Lost and Found!
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

2 Minute Speech for School Children On Science and Development

From the time the first wheel started rolling, the world has progressed in leaps and bounds. When the wheel gathered momentum and speed with the arrival of the combustion engine, a new era had dawned in human history.

Soon, it was man’s turn to fly. Travel became faster. And with the arrival of telephones, television, computers, and mobile phones the world shrank to a global village. With the arrival of the internet and a variety of software applications most routine activities like shopping and banking is now at the fingertips.

All this has influenced how people live. Life has become faster and easier. At the same time, this kind of easy life has impacted man’s health as well. Instead of physical activity which can help reduce stress, modern gadgets and equipment has compelled man to move to a sedentary life style.

At the same time we cannot forget the developments science has made in the field of medicine. We even have robotic surgery today. Even when several diseases like Aids and Cancer still plague a good majority of the world’s population the life-saving and health improving developments in the field of medicine are commendable.

Technology has also changed the face of education and the classroom. Teachers and teaching have an added dimension in virtual classrooms. The advantage of this is that the best education can be availed by people even in remote villages if electricity and internet connectivity can be provided. This is a remarkable achievement even when Internet or the Information Super Highway has opened for a man a lot of avenues for exploring evil as well.

That is why whether science is a bane or boon has been debated for a long time now. We have benefited much from science. We owe much to the sacrificial contribution of scientists and researchers worldwide. But in the hand of men with devilish intent, science can be used for destructive purposes as well. Here checks have to be made by appeal to the human conscience and wherever possible by laws and international treaties and understanding.

Another area where man has tried to probe is space. Space exploration is throwing open new horizons and knowledge. Weather forecast and telecommunications have had significant improvement because of satellites in orbit.

However, there is this haunting thought. Every step that man takes forward in science reveals the smallness of man. It tells us how much more is there for man to know under the microscope as well as in the stellar galaxies and beyond.

It is true that science has created great progress. But several inventions like the dynamite and the atom bomb have already created havoc in this world. Not to mention the thoughtless use of plastic. Or for that matter technology invading relationships through the arrival of social media. Do you think your privacy is not under threat when you browse the internet or make a purchase online? You are under watchful eyes of those interested in their market empires. So technology has its downside and hope that frightens you a little bit!

Now let me conclude. Science can be a great instrument in peace and development. At the same time the hope that science will create heaven on earth is largely a myth. Simply because man’s behaviour has not altered over the centuries. And in the hands of the wrong people or a bad decision by a person in leadership science might script the final showdown of man’s history on earth someday. Yes friends, time will prove what is truth.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands” — Bible (King David, Psalm 19:1)

Open Up and Say “Yes” to Life!

2 Minute Speech for School Children on the Importance of English

Speech for School Children on Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam the Missile Man of India and a Dreamer