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Business News/ Economy / India to regulate AI for user protection: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

NEW DELHI : India will regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to protect citizens from harm, said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for electronics and information technology.

“Our approach towards AI regulation is fairly simple. We will regulate AI as we will regulate Web3 or any emerging technologies to ensure that they do not harm digital nagriks (citizens)," Chandrasekhar said on Friday while speaking on nine years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance.

He added that the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022, would be introduced in the Parliament soon, while consultations on the proposed Digital India Act, 2023, will begin this month.

“Our approach towards AI regulation or indeed any regulation is that we will regulate it through the prism of user harm. We will protect digital nagriks (citizens) from harm or from derived harm through technology. We will not let platforms operate in India that inflict user harm," he added.

Chandrasekhar’s comments come at a time when Sam Altman, the chief executive of OpenAI that developed the popular chatbot program ChatGPT, called for regulation of major companies operating in the AI space, including his own company, but batted for smaller firms and startups to be left out for it may stifle innovation. He added that the threat of AI removing or replacing jobs was not likely in the near future as AI in the present day was task-oriented and was not sophisticated enough.

“I can assure you that while AI is disruptive, we do not see in the next few years the so-called threat of replacing jobs or removing jobs because the current state of development of AI is that AI is very task-oriented, not reasoning logic, and jobs usually have reasoning, and logical AI is not sophisticated enough at this stage," he said.

However, he noted that there was a possibility at very low levels of intelligence and repetitive tasking where AI would replace jobs and over the next 5-10 years that AI would become intelligent enough where it could replace jobs. “Today, the application of AI is on tasks. It creates more efficiency," he said.

The minister added that the digital personal data protection bill would be introduced in the Parliament soon while consultations on the Digital India bill will begin this month while speaking on India’s journey towards digitization over the past nine years.

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Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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Updated: 10 Jun 2023, 12:19 AM IST
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