Is it the Need of the Hour to Sync Artificial Intelligence and Law?

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Artificial Intelligence is the “it” factor in today’s times. It is the way forward, and a technology that holds the potential to replace humans in various fields of work. While the world is yet to witness what AI has to offer in its truest capacity, it has become important to protect it under Law.

Introduction

Artificial Intelligence or AI is a technology that makes machines learn from their experiences and environments around them. The development of this technology has been remarkable. From solving basic arithmetic problems to becoming instilled as human-like robots with feelings and emotions. The biggest breakthroughs for AI research in recent years have been within the field of deep learning.

Big companies like Apple, Tesla and Amazon have made AI a part of their innovative breakthrough technology. Products like Siri, Netflix use this technology to make the consumer experience much better. This technology has become an indispensable part of the urban lifestyle. It has reached various sectors. AI’s predicted contribution to the world economy is estimated at $15.7 trillion by 2030.

The Indian Scenario

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India is considered as one of the fastest developing economies in the world. We also have a fairly advantaged demographic structure that works best to create a stronger workforce. After the era of globalization, we have opened our doors to the diversity the world has to offer. Technology flow is one of the biggest and most successful byproducts of globalization. Owing to this India has started adapting and developing its infrastructure to create the best technologies possible. India has also taken specific efforts to inculcate Artificial intelligence in its structural setup.

In June 2018, NITI Ayog released a strategy paper on how India can integrate AI technology to better its investment flow from across the world. The paper also focuses on the larger goal of national development, with the key takeaway being #AIforAll, under the “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Scheme” of the government.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry also set up an Artificial Intelligence Taskforce. With an aim to derive the greatest economic benefits from the technology and also to create a legal framework for it. The task force submitted its report in 2018. It outlines the challenges pertaining to India and how AI can also be a disruptive technology. One of the important recommendations thus is the setting up of an N-AIM which is the National Artificial Intelligence Mission that will aim at easing the percolation of this technology. It will also act as a nodal authority for AI activities in the country. The committee also has estimated a budget of ₹1200 Crores for AI activities.  It is hopeful that AI will create job opportunities for people in the near future.

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In January 2020, NITI Aayog also announced its plan of setting up “AIRAWAT”, a program aimed at boosting cloud infrastructure. The platform aims to guide the research and development of new and emerging technologies. NITI Aayog also stated that India can become the AI laboratory for the world.

AI has made its way to various sectors in India and the task for e also aims at integrating it further. Sectors like agriculture, defence, healthcare, education, finance are amongst the core areas where AI implementation will be done.

Various laws like Intellectual Property, Consumer Protection, Information Technology laws play a vital role in regulating AI in the country. Another emerging domain is the Data Protection and Privacy laws which can also reshape the way we look at the technology. Most of the products like Alexa, Siri which use this technology are claimed to be extremely intrusive. Breaching an individual’s privacy. It will be interesting to see how the laws can tackle the problems of privacy stemming from technology. Given that it does not have legal standing in India.

A Comparative Perspective

Various jurisdictions across the globe have developed a legal framework for AI. Many are in process to do so because it is an important technology that can create havoc if not regulated properly.

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Singapore, the European Union has developed governance frameworks to regulate AI and its use in their respective jurisdictions. The United States of America has to hone one step further and proposed a bill called Algorithmic Accountability Act, 2019 which aims at dealing with AI biases by performing risk assessments.

California also has the California Consumer Protection Act, 2018 which gives consumers more control over their personal data. Saudi Arabia is the first country in the world to give citizenship to a robot named “Sophie”. A rather developed leap for mankind and technology.

Conclusion & the Way Ahead

AI is said to be the fore of the future and is rapidly taking over the world. With rising contentions of AI replacing humans. Only time will tell whether we can co-exist or one will take over the other. The world is preparing to move forward with this technology. Legal questions like citizenship, data privacy and protection are being considered while developing a framework for AI.

India is still in the primitive stage of AI technology and has a long way to go. Therefore, it is also at an advantage to develop a strong legal framework that supports the growth of AI by also limiting it to an extent.

India should also develop a separate and specialized law that deals with the regulation of AI and the problems stemming from it. India lacks the infrastructure to inculcate AI completely. We need to start working at grassroots levels for allowing the maximum benefit of this technology. Our developmental stage benefits us. As we have a better chance of understanding the challenges. And creating a framework that overcomes them.


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