Pre-poll GenAI worry: India lays down rules

Deepfakes have already begun to spread misinformation that could distort electoral outcomes in other countries. (AFP)
Deepfakes have already begun to spread misinformation that could distort electoral outcomes in other countries. (AFP)

Summary

  • The government has issued an advisory with rules for AI companies and their offerings. Deepfakes are an electoral season worry and Gemini’s scandalous output hasn’t helped.

The government has mandated that platforms and intermediaries equipped with AI and generative AI capabilities that enable the creation of deepfakes must obtain its approval before they offer services in India. Platforms have also been asked to label themselves as “under testing" and make explicit to users the potential failures this technology is prone to. 

This regulatory tightening comes after reports emerged globally of scandalous shortcomings in generative AI tools. In India, Google’s Gemini drew flak for an uproar-drawing response to a question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While it has been speculated that this brouhaha triggered India’s wider clampdown, the threat such technologies pose can’t be overstated, especially with national elections up ahead. 

Deepfakes have already begun to spread misinformation that could distort electoral outcomes in other countries. An advance warning for AI toolmakers could contain the risk of this menace materializing here. Meanwhile, eyes have turned to Google, particularly, which has been accused of launching premature AI, to see if its compliance with the orders will show in the responses its chatbot throws up.

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