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Must have a legal framework to deal with algorithmic bias: Former TRAI chairman RS Sharma

We must have a legal framework dealing with the “full range” of issues around artificial intelligence, including algorithmic bias, data mining, using data without the permission of the data owner, and broad principles for the same must be set out "a priori”, former TRAI chairman R.S. Sharma said on Wednesday. In order to deal with the onset of artificial intelligence, India must also have a robust data protection legislation; “the sooner it comes the better it is”, Sharma said, while speaking at the Indian government’s Raise 2020 Summit (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment, 2020). When asked about the ways in which AI can be regulated, Sharma said that regulations should be largely “reactive”, that is “you don’t regulate things unless there is a market failure”. He cautioned against doing “anticipatory regulation”, warning that it might prevent innovation, which is “not the right way to regulate technologies”. Instead, Sharma continued, India can lay down “principle based” regulations which don’t really impact innovation, or fair play. “For example, we have DEPA [Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture], which ensures that a data owner’s data is used for their own betterment. I think we should make such architectures,” Sharma said. DEPA seeks to break data silos and monopolies so that fintech and healthtech companies can compete on basis of design, analytics and value creation rather than data access. ‘Be wary of transnational large corporations’ Aside from the inherent issues of AI as a technology, Sharma also cautioned against the people and few companies who…

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