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India committed to responsible and ethical use of AI, says PM Modi

Speaking at the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “We have to work together to prepare a global framework for the ethical use of AI”

by The Founder
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At a time when the entire world is debating about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi said that AI has had an impact on every country, be it small or big, and suggested moving forward with caution. Inaugurating the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) Summit in New Delhi yesterday, he said, “India is the main player in the field of AI talent and AI-related ideas.”

He also said that the government strives to take maximum advantage of AI’s capabilities for social development and inclusive growth, while also committing to its responsible and ethical usage. Informing about initiating a National Programme on Artificial Intelligence and the soon-to-be-launched AI Mission, which aims to establish the computing powers of AI, he said that these will provide better services to startups and innovators in India and also promote AI applications in the sectors of agriculture, healthcare and education. He also mentioned taking AI-related skills to tier-II and tier-III cities via educational training institutes.

Speaking about India’s national AI portal that promotes AI initiatives, Modi mentioned the AIRAWAT initiative and informed that the common platform will soon be open for every research lab, industry and startup.

 “The development mantra of India is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,’” the PM said, underlining that the government has drafted its policies and programmes with the spirit of AI for All.

He emphasised on the need to make AI more inclusive and said that “the more inclusive the development journey of AI, the more inclusive will be the results.”

He, however, also mentioned the unequal access to technology in the last century, further accentuating inequality in the society. To avoid this, he asked that democratic values should not be neglected in technology to make it an inclusion multiplier. “Direction of AI development will totally depend on human and democratic values. It is up to us to keep a place for emotions along with efficiency, and ethics, along with effectiveness,” he said.

The PM emphasised that in order to make any system sustainable, it is important to make it transformative, transparent and trusted.

“There is no doubt that AI is transformative, but it is up to us to make it more and more transparent,” he added.

He then said that it is imperative to assure all the countries that no one will be left behind in the development journey of AI. Trust in AI will grow only when related ethical, economic and social aspects are addressed. One way to do this is to make upskilling and reskilling part of the AI growth curve, he said. Data protection and assurances to the global south will also assuage many concerns.

Pointing out the challenges of deepfake, cyber security, data theft and terrorist organisations getting their hands on AI tools, Modi stressed on the need for countermeasures. He threw light on India’s proposal to create a framework for responsible human-centric AI governance during India’s G20 Presidency and said that the G20 New Delhi Declaration has reaffirmed the commitment of all member countries towards ‘AI Principles.’ He emphasised working together just like the agreements and protocols on various international issues and creating a framework for the ethical use of AI, including the testing and development of high-risk or frontier AI tools. “We have to complete the global framework within a given time limit. It is very important to do this to protect humanity,” he uttered.

Noting AI as a worldwide movement, the PM stressed the need for collaboration. He suggested a few questions that need to be addressed to enhance AI’s credibility such as data sets for testing and training AI tools, length and duration of testing before releasing any product to the market. He also asked whether a software watermark can be introduced to mark any information or product as AI-generated.

Addressing the stakeholders in the government, the PM asked them to explore the data of various schemes for evidence-based decision-making and see if the data can be used to train AI tools. He asked if there could be an audit mechanism that can categorise AI tools.

Noting the hundreds of languages and thousands of dialects in India, the PM suggested using AI to make digital services available in local languages to increase digital inclusion. He also suggested using AI to revive the languages which are no longer spoken, taking forward the rich knowledge base and literature of the Sanskrit language and reuniting the missing volumes of Vedic mathematics.

He also notified about the recently launched AI agriculture chatbot which will help farmers in various aspects of farming. In addition, he expounded on the use of AI in the fields of healthcare and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

GPAI is a multi-stakeholder initiative with 29 member countries aiming to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities. India is the lead chair of GPAI in 2024.

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