Can India Safeguard Users and Foster Collaboration in AI Regulation?

The government intends to regulate AI based on the principle of user harm. Rules will be implemented to govern online gaming, focusing on harm, addiction, and betting prevention

Kanhaiya Singh
New Update

The government is introducing regulations for online gaming to address issues of harm, addiction, and betting. The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill and the Digital India Bill are further initiatives aimed at protecting personal data, combating harmful content, and ensuring a safe and trusted digital environment for all.

Through these measures, the government envisions India's digital transformation and aims to make the country a leader in the digital world, prioritizing the well-being and interests of its digital citizens.

The objective is to connect people to the internet and protect their interests, privacy, and security. With over 85 crore (850 million) people already connected to the internet in India, the government aims to further increase this number to 120 crore (1.2 billion) by 2025.

Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, recently highlighted the government's plans to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) and online gaming to ensure the protection of digital citizens.

Chandrasekhar emphasized that while AI is disruptive, it is currently task-oriented and does not immediately threaten jobs. The government intends to regulate AI based on the principle of user harm. Rules will be implemented to govern online gaming, focusing on harm, addiction, and betting prevention. Chandrasekhar also discussed the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, consultations for the Digital India Bill, and the government's efforts to make India the safest and most trusted country in terms of digital technology.

Regulation of AI: Protecting Users from Harm

During a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, various aspects of artificial intelligence (AI), including the need for global regulation, were discussed. Prime Minister Modi expressed his belief in the vast potential of AI within India's tech ecosystem, particularly among the youth, and welcomed collaborations that can accelerate the country's digital transformation and empower its citizens.

The meeting highlighted the government's proactive approach to AI and its recognition of the importance of international cooperation in shaping the future of this technology. OpenAI, the organization behind the development of ChatGPT, played a significant role in the discussions. With ChatGPT being an AI language model that has the ability to engage in conversations and provide information, it exemplifies the potential of AI in facilitating various tasks.

Chandrasekhar expressed the government's commitment to regulating AI through the lens of user harm. He acknowledged the potential of AI to replace certain jobs in the future but clarified that the current stage of AI development is predominantly focused on task-oriented applications, lacking the reasoning and logic capabilities required for most jobs. However, Chandrasekhar assured that the government will vigilantly protect digital citizens and regulate emerging technologies, including AI, to mitigate any potential harm.

The Minister highlighted that the tech sector has created over a crore jobs (10 million) in the last five years in India, indicating that the application of AI, at this point, is primarily focused on tasks and improving efficiency. While AI may replace jobs involving lower levels of intelligence and repetitive tasks in the coming years, Chandrasekhar stressed that most jobs require reasoning and logic, which current AI systems cannot perform. While AI might achieve these capabilities in the next few years, Chandrasekhar stated that the government does not currently foresee a significant threat to jobs in the immediate future.

Rules for Online Gaming: Addressing Harm, Addiction, and Betting

The government intends to introduce regulations for online gaming to ensure user safety and prevent harm, addiction, and betting-related issues. Platforms that fail to adhere to these principles will not be permitted to operate in India or access digital citizens. The aim is to establish responsible and safe online gaming practices that protect users from potential harm or negative consequences associated with excessive or addictive gaming behavior.

Digital Personal Data Protection Bill and Digital India Bill

The minister reiterated the government's plan to introduce the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill in Parliament. This legislation aims to safeguard individuals' personal data and privacy in the digital realm. The bill will address concerns surrounding data protection and ensure that individuals' data is handled securely and responsibly.

The government will initiate consultations with stakeholders regarding the Digital India Bill. The bill will address various online safety issues, including combating harmful content such as child sexual abuse material, religious incitement material, patent violation material, and misinformation on social media platforms. The government aims to provide legal mechanisms to hold platforms accountable for hosting such content, ensuring the safety and security of digital citizens.

India's Digital Transformation and Future Outlook

Chandrasekhar highlighted the Modi government's significant progress in digitization over the past nine years. He noted that India has transitioned from being the largest unconnected country to the largest connected country, with the highest number of Internet users enjoying affordable data rates. This digital transformation has opened up immense opportunities for economic growth and development.

By 2025-26, the digital economy is expected to contribute 20% of India's total GDP. The government aims to leverage digital technology to empower its citizens and drive inclusive growth. Chandrasekhar credited the Modi government's initiatives and policies for India's digital advancements, emphasizing that the government has transformed the country's digital landscape and connected millions of people to the Internet.