NEW DELHI: Artificial intelligence (AI) should “not be demonised”, and India will work towards creating an early regulatory framework around it, possibly over next five-six months, minister of state for IT and Electronics Rajeev Chandrasekhar said here on Friday.

The country will take steps to create a global consensus on managing the challenges emanating from the rapidly evolving technological innovation, including impact on jobs, privacy of individuals, weaponisation and criminalisation of the smart algos, he said.The minister also said India is open to having discussions with China as part of multi-country deliberations, but added that the neighbouring country has to be “genuine” in its approach and intentions around regulating AI for good.
“We all know that over the last 10 years or so, we have allowed regulation to fall behind innovation, may be by mistake, or tacitly, or inadvertently. Today, all the countries are paying a price for this collectively as we witness and tackle the menace of toxicity and misinformation across social media platforms. AI has the potential to amplify toxicity and weaponisation to the next level. While countries had previously made a mistake to have regulation fall behind innovation, we can now be ahead, or at least be at par, when it comes to regulating AI,” Chandrasekhar said.
The minister, however, made it clear that India does not want to “demonise” AI. “In my closing remarks at the ‘AI Safety Summit 2023’ in the UK, I have spoken about the need to have safe and trusted AI platforms, distinguishable from unsafe and untrusted platforms. We have proposed that AI should not be demonised to a point that it is regulated out of existence. AI presents a big opportunity in India.”
The minister said that there is a need to address the risks that may arise out of AI, while talking about safety and trust. “The broad areas which we need to deliberate upon is workforce disruption by AI, its impact on privacy of individuals, weaponisation and criminalisation of AI, and what do we do to have a global, coordinated action against banned actors, who may create unsafe and untrusted models that may be available on the dark web and can be misused.”
On Elon Musk’s statement that AI can be disruptive for jobs, he said that the views are “not unusual” as every innovation had led to “transformation” of the workforce. “So, it will be no different. The only difference is that the advent of AI will be a lot more rapid than what we saw in previous innovations. This will be a lot more urgent and faster than anything in the history of technology. Thus, countries and companies will need to sharply align their strategies of skilling and other factors.”
Chandrasekhar said that the government will be carrying forward the theme at the Global Partner for AI (GPAI) Summit, that will be held here in December, where India is the chair. “We need to keep pace with technology. This is not a conversation that should remain at this level. We need to have a framework in the next three to six months. This urgency should be clearly understood. The innovation is moving at hyper speed and AI is now upon us. Governments and regulation cannot afford to have two-three years in intellectual debate,” the minister said.

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