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India’s Role Key in Shaping AI Rules as it’s a Producer Market’

India is among the largest data producers in the world and will play a key role in the governance and regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as Asia’s third-largest economy transitions from a consumer to a producer market, a top Wipro executive told ET.

“Because India is the largest country in the world (in terms of population), it will be generating demand that is going to create growth and India will be also producing a lot of data,” said Ivana Bartoletti, global chief privacy officer, Wipro. “Hence, that trust element becomes absolutely important. Second, India will be serving global markets and that means there is more alignment on the discussion (governance and responsible AI) that is happening worldwide.”

According to her, businesses will have to distinguish between the scale and the hype as they operate in the real world where technology risks have become more apparent.

“Issues like governance have become more pressing…Businesses have to identify the problem and then identify the technology that can support the solution, not vice versa,” Bartoletti said. The conversation comes amid the boardroom coup that unfolded at Microsoft-backed OpenAI over the past two weeks. The firing and subsequent quick reinstatement of its cofounder Sam Altman following a change in the company’s Board brings the issues of responsible AI and governance to the fore.

“AI is statistics on steroids...and AI is a lot of stuff. What has changed in the world are LLMs (large language models), which have also been around for a long time, but the difference today is that they are available to everybody,” she said. “The general-purpose AI is different from AI, which was used for narrow tasks. This has changed the landscape.”

In India, the government aims to push governance in technology through the implementation of the Digital India Act and Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Bill, 2023, which is equivalent to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“Every day, there is something new and we will wait until the end of the story to say what that means. It is important that these things are being discussed but one important thing that this situation is showing is the importance of governance,” Bartoletti pointed out.

In the wake of concerns over misinformation and deep fakes, Bartoletti believes that a collaboration between businesses and government will be required on how to govern, regulate and where the investments go in technologies.

For the IT sector, companies including Wipro, along with industry body Nasscom will need to reassure consumers through a code of conduct to follow due diligence while deploying AI. “Things like watermarks, labelling for AI, following due diligence…Some companies are already thinking this in various countries on the ground for due processes, transparency of algorithms and privacy rights. This would increase the competitiveness of the sectors on a global scale and India can play a big role in governing technology,” Bartoletti affirms.

By Beena Parmar

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