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Indian Government Requires AI Platforms to Seek Permission for Product Launches

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar emphasizes the need for checks and balances in AI technology

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar emphasizes the need for checks and balances in AI technology

The Indian government is taking steps to establish a system of checks and balances in the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology within the country. As part of these efforts, AI platforms are now required to seek permission from the government before launching any AI products.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar recently made this announcement, highlighting the significance of ensuring responsible AI usage.

In an interview with news agency, Minister Chandrasekhar emphasized that all intermediaries have been instructed to comply with the advisory, which was issued on the evening of March 1st. The directive is effective immediately and aims to introduce greater scrutiny and regulation in the development and release of AI products.

“This signals that we are moving towards a regime where rigorous evaluations are necessary before a product is launched. We don’t do that with cars or microprocessors. Why should there be no guardrails between what is in the lab and what is released to the public for such a transformative technology like AI?” questioned the Minister, who holds the portfolio of Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology.

To address concerns related to misinformation and deepfakes, the government has also recommended tagging or embedding AI-generated content with permanent, unique metadata. This approach will aid in identifying the originators or creators of such content. The decision comes as a response to the controversy sparked by Google’s Gemini model, which generated contentious responses when asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political ideology.

In light of this, Minister Chandrasekhar stated, “If they want to deploy a model that is error-prone, they have to label it as under testing, obtain government permission, and explicitly seek the confirmation and consent of the user regarding its error-prone nature. They cannot later claim it was under testing.”

Screenshots shared on social media revealed that Gemini’s responses tended to label Prime Minister Modi as a fascist more frequently than other world leaders.

Google responded to the issue through a spokesperson, stating, “We’ve worked quickly to address this issue. Gemini is designed as a creativity and productivity tool and may not always be reliable, especially when it comes to responding to prompts about current events, political topics, or evolving news. We are constantly working to improve its accuracy.”

The Indian government’s move to implement a permission-based system for AI product launches reflects its commitment to ensuring responsible and accountable use of AI technology. By introducing checks and balances, the government aims to strike a balance between innovation and regulation in the rapidly advancing field of AI.

As this new directive takes effect, it is expected to prompt discussions and debates surrounding the appropriate use of AI in India’s technological landscape.

UPDATE – As per announcement on 15th March 2024 – There is no need of prior approval to launch new AI products.

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