Global IndiaAI Summit 2024: Need global approach to contain AI risks: Vaishnaw

by doreenioq8

Updated – July 03, 2024 at 03:19 PM.
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New Delhi

‘India mulling next steps to regulate, harness potential of AI’

Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology


Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology
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Artificial intelligence (AI) can be a major tool to solve many problems, but there is simultaneously a need to contain the associated risks, for which the solution must come through a global thought process, the government said on Wednesday.

“It cannot be done in isolation by any country. That’s why we decided to hold this media summit so that the experience of the last one year can be discussed in detail and we can come up with a proper consensus on what should be the way forward,” Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, said during the inaugural session of the Global IndiaAI Summit 2024 in New Delhi.

He said the participants will lay the foundation for the next step India takes in the regulation as well as utilisation of the potential of AI. The government’s approach towards its utilisation has been to democratise the technology to make it accessible to all.

“We all know that technology, especially modern technology is becoming very expensive, and in many geographies the tendency is that it gets limited in the hands of a few. Whether it is called big tech, whether it’s, in some cases, government controlling everything, the approach that our Prime Minister has always adopted is that technology should be accessible to everybody,” Vaishnaw noted.

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Giving an example, he said the digital public infrastructure in India is a classic case where no single payment provider, no single service provider has monopoly over the service. The government invests in the platform and everybody becomes a part of it.

The same approach will be adopted for AI, he said adding that the government will invest in creating a public platform where compute power, high-quality data sets, a common set of protocols, and a common set of technical as well as legal framework are available.

“Then the startups, entrepreneurs, academicians, people who are working on different applications for a variety of sectors like agriculture medicine, healthcare, education, people working on those solutions can use this common platform… It’s a really unique approach and is consistent with the last 10 years of digital India,” the Minister added.

Echoing this, Jitin Prasada, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, said countries need to work collaboratively to develop solutions for AI to solve problems and challenges in key sectors like healthcare, agriculture and education.

Benefits and threats

“Today we have AI-based solutions that can help diagnose diseases like TB and lung cancer by analysing the X-ray images. Can we scale these up and deploy them at scale? We have AI solutions for personalised learning plans for students. Researchers have developed AI-based applications that advise farmers on usage of water, fertilizers and pesticides,” he said.

He said these solutions, which are being deployed in India, can also be adopted by all member countries. Under the ‘India AI Mission’ the government is working on such AI-based applications and the details of these initiatives will be discussed in the next two days, he said. “I am sure our policy on AI is similar to the digital public infrastructure. They also need to be aware of the risks that AI poses for democracies across the world. We just had elections in India and we had our cyber security agencies working overtime, not only to prevent cyber attacks but also to actively contain fake news and misinformation with generative AI,” Prasada said.

The risks and challenges have grown several times over and, therefore, countries need to work collaboratively to identify deep fakes and AI-generated images and videos, he added.

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