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India to Host “Global IndiaAI 2023” Conference this October

Covering topics like foundational AI models, AI applications in healthcare, governance, electric vehicles, etc., the conference may mark India’s attempt to cement itself as a fixture of the AI regulatory landscape.

Organised by the IT Ministry, the inaugural “Global IndiaAI 2023” conference scheduled for mid-October will see AI researchers, start-ups, and investors from around the world come together in India to discuss the future of AI.

A press release issued yesterday added that the conference will cover topics like next-generation learning, foundational AI models, future AI research trends, AI computing systems, nurturing AI talent, investment opportunities, and AI applications in healthcare, governance, and electric vehicles.

The conference will also showcase the Indian government’s AI initiative, including DI Bhashini, the India Datasets Program, the IndiaAI Futuredesign program for start-ups, and the IndiaAI FutureSkills program.

Why it matters: While India is indeed the chair of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence this year, many other countries are gunning in parallel to take the lead in developing global norms for responsible AI. The United Kingdom, for example, has pledged millions of pounds for homegrown AI research and is also planning to host “the first major global AI summit” this autumn. “With our vast expertise and commitment to an open, democratic international system, the UK will stand together with our allies to lead the way,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said at the time.

In that light, and amidst all the competition, the conference itself may mark India’s attempt to cement itself as a fixture of the AI regulatory landscape. Or, as India’s MoS for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar put it yesterday:

“This summit is expected to evolve and become a must attend event on the annual calendar of the Global AI industry, startups, practitioners, researchers and students…What we want is that AI should be responsible so that user harm is curbed and innovation is encouraged. Our primary aim is to ensure a collaborative and participatory approach, steering AI to enhance governance and transforming lives while building global partnerships and actively shaping the world’s technology landscape.”

Not to be forgotten: India’s own approaches to responsible AI back home often leave something to be desired. For example, India’s newly passed privacy law gives companies a free pass to scrape and process publicly shared personal data without consent. This raises concerns of user harm—as we’ve reported, “AI services like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google Bard will be able to scrape publicly available personal data from the internet to train their models. This also raises possibilities of facial recognition tools using publicly available profile photos to train their systems.”

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I'm interested in stories that explore how countries use the law to govern technology—and what this tells us about how they perceive tech and its impacts on society. To chat, for feedback, or to leave a tip: aarathi@medianama.com

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