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DoT’s technical wing partners with Amrita University to develop AI bias addressal tool

The collaboration between TEC and Amrita University will primarily focus on developing tools to address risks related to biases in AI systems, fairness assessment methods, and to establish frameworks for evaluating and certifying the “fairness and reliability” of AI technologies.

The Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), the technical arm of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Amrita University for building “Trustworthy and Responsible” artificial intelligence (AI) systems, according to a press release by the Ministry of Communications on February 14, 2024. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is a multi-disciplinary private university with campuses in multiple cities in India.

According to the press release, the collaboration will primarily focus on developing tools to address risks related to biases in AI systems, fairness assessment methods, and to establish frameworks for evaluating and certifying the “fairness and reliability” of AI technologies. The Ministry also pointed to a Standard for Fairness Assessment and Rating of Artificial Intelligence Systems, developed by the TEC in July 2023. The TEC’s Standard focuses on testing for biases in the outcomes generated by AI and Machine Learning (ML) systems and applications.

“This standard provides a systemic approach to certifying fairness for AI systems. It approaches certification via a three-step process involving bias risk assessment, threshold determination for metrics, and bias testing. Bias testing includes scenario testing, where the system is tested in different scenarios to ensure that it performs equally well for all individuals. The standard is presently built for tabular data and intended to be expanded to other forms of data,” the TEC paper noted.

Public-private partnership for use of AI in agriculture:

On January 18, 2024, the National Farmers’ Welfare Programme Implementation Society collaborated with IndiaAI under the Digital India Corporation, and the Wadhwani Foundation to advance the use of AI for agricultural purposes. The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare stated that the Wadhwani Foundation will be assisting the government in “formulating and executing” an AI strategy for agriculture. However, the Ministry did not provide details about who is developing these tools, and what the minimum standards of requirement are for testing the accuracy level of the results provided.

IT Ministry’s call for proposals on AI Frameworks:

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued an ‘Expression of Interest’ document in January 2024, seeking proposals for building tools and frameworks based on Responsible AI themes. The government will be providing grant-in-aid support to at least 10 such research projects under the National Program on Artificial Intelligence (NPAI) and IndiaAI programs to promote ethical practices in the deployment of AI. The themes include machine unlearning for identifying inaccurate and biased information that may become ingrained in machine learning models, algorithm fairness tools, AI bias mitigation strategies, and explainable AI frameworks to make AI models more interpretable and transparent, among others. Read more about the themes here.

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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