Requires Government Approval for Model Launches

Breaking News: India Makes a U-Turn on AI Regulations, Requires Government Approval for Model Launches

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By Vivek Kumar

Requires Government Approval for Model Launches. India has joined the world AI debate with the release of an advisory that demands companies in the field of technology to obtain government approval before making any announcements about new AI models.

Requires Government Approval for Model Launches

In India, the Ministry of Electronics and IT issued the advice to companies on Friday. The document, not publicly available, emphasizes that tech companies must ensure that their products or services do not allow any form of bias or discrimination, or pose a threat to the integrity of the electoral process.

Although the ministry acknowledges that the advisory isn’t legally binding but the Indian IT deputy minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar says the notice is “signalling that this is the future of regulation.”

He says: “We are doing it as an advisory today asking you to comply with it.”

The ministry points to the power given to it by it through the IT Act, 2000 and IT Rules, 2021 in its guidance. It is seeking conformity to the IT Act, 2000 and rules with “immediate effect” and asks tech companies to submit an “Action Taken-cum-Status Report” to the ministry within 15 days.

The new guidance that also requires companies in the field of technology to “appropriately” label the “possible and inherent fallibility or unreliability” of the output that their AI models produce, marks the end of India’s non-intervention policy towards AI regulation. Just a year ago the ministry was hesitant to regulate AI development, instead recognizing the field as crucial for India’s strategic goals.

The Indian government’s decision has taken many executives in the industry by surprise. A lot of Indian entrepreneurs and VCs are concerned by the new advice and are concerned that it could hinder India’s capability to take on the world which it is currently trailing behind.

“I was such a fool thinking I will work bringing GenAI to Indian agriculture from SF,” wrote Pratik Desai, the founder of the startup Kisan AI. “We were preparing a multimodal low-cost pest and disease models, and were so happy about it. This is demotivating and horrible after having worked for 4 years full-time applying AI in this area across India.”

Numerous Silicon Valley leaders also criticized the policy shift of India. Aravind Srinivas, co-founder and chief executive officer of Perplexity AI, one of the most popular AI startups, said that the new advice policy from New Delhi was a ” bad move by India.”

Martin Casado, a partner at the venture company Andreessen Horowitz, said, “Good fucking lord. What a shame.”

The announcement comes after Chandrasekhar expressed his displeasure in a particular response from the Google’s Gemini in the last few months. A user in the last month asked Gemini which was previously known as Bard, whether the Indian PM Narendra Modi was a fascist.

In the response, Gemini — citing experts it couldn’t identify -claimed Modi was blamed for implementing policies were deemed to be fascist by some. Chandrasekhar’s reaction to the incident was by advising Google that these actions could be “direct violations” of the IT Rules, 2021 as in addition to “several provisions of the Criminal Code.”

Infractions to the provisions in the IT Act and IT Rules could be a cause for “potential penal consequences to the intermediaries or platforms or its users when identified,” the advisory says.

FAQs- Requires Government Approval for Model Launches

  1. What is the recent advisory issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT in India regarding AI models?

    The Ministry of Electronics and IT in India has issued an advisory requesting that businesses working in the technology sector get government approval before launching new AI models.

  2. Are tech companies required to comply with the advisory immediately?

    Yes, tech companies are required to adhere to the advisory with immediate effect as per the guidance provided by the ministry.

  3. What was the specific incident involving Google’s Gemini that led to the advisory?

    The advisory was partly influenced by a response from Google’s Gemini (formerly Bard) to a user query about the Indian PM Narendra Modi, which was deemed potentially violative of IT Rules, 2021.

  4. What actions are tech companies expected to take in response to the advisory?

    Tech companies are required to submit an “Action Taken-cum-Status Report” to the ministry within 15 days to demonstrate conformity with the IT Act, 2000, and IT Rules, 2021.