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India not considering bringing a law for AI growth, IT Ministry says

India not considering bringing law for AI growth, IT Ministry says
India’s IT Ministry regarded AI as a “kinetic enabler” of the digital economy and innovation ecosystem.

The Indian government is not considering introducing a law to govern the growth of artificial intelligence in the country, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a written response in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Attributing AI as a “significant and strategic” area for India, the government intends to take necessary steps to harness the sector.

“The government is not considering bringing a law or regulating the growth of artificial intelligence in the country,” read the written response to the questions like whether the Indian government is taking steps to regulate AI growth in the country and if it intends to bring a law for AI.

“AI is a kinetic enabler of the digital economy and innovation ecosystem. Government is harnessing the potential of AI to provide personalized and interactive citizen-centric services through Digital Public Platforms,” it added. India’s IT Ministry also highlighted the concerns and risks that come with AI such as bias and discrimination in decision-making, privacy violations, lack of transparency in AI systems, etc.

To address these, various departments and agencies at the central and state level have commenced efforts to standardize responsible AI development and use and promote the adoption of best practices. Additionally, India’s think-tank NITI Aayog has published a series of papers about Responsible AI for All.

Furthermore, the government sees AI as a “significant and strategic” area for India and its technology sector and believes that AI will have a kinetic effect on the growth of entrepreneurship and business in the country. The “government is taking all necessary steps in policies and infrastructure to develop a robust AI sector in the country,” the response read.

The AI race has intensified after OpenAI’s ChatGPT came into the limelight since its launch in November last year. Short for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, ChatGPT is a popular AI text generator and has been a center of attention for many due to its human-like response.

The AI-based text generator has passed some of the toughest exams in the U.S., including the United States Medical Licensing Exam and an MBA core course – Operations Management offered by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. However, plagiarism and false information concerns have even led to a ban on chatbot usage from certain institutes like Sciences Po, one of the top universities in France.

Late last month, Italy banned ChatGPT due to privacy concerns and the country’s authorities said that the OpenAI chatbot lacks a sound legal framework for gathering personal information from users, which the system uses to train its algorithms. Around the same time, Tesla chief Elon Musk along with a group of AI experts called all AI labs to immediately pause the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4 for at least six months.

“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” the letter that has nearly 13,000 signatures noted. The signatories include Stability AI chief Emad Mostaque, some researchers at Alphabet-owned DeepMind, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp and Getty Images chief Craig Peters, among several others.

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