India Plans New Laws to Regulate AI

The draft AI regulatory framework, set to be introduced by mid-2024, aims to govern the development and use of AI technology.

India is gearing up to release a comprehensive AI regulatory framework by mid-2024, aiming to harness the technology’s potential across various sectors while ensuring ethical use and preventing misuse.

This announcement was made by the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, during the opening session of the NASSCOM leadership summit. The framework, eagerly anticipated since its initial mention in May 2023, seeks to balance fostering innovation and addressing the potential risks associated with AI technologies.

This AI related regulations is the need of the hour as it will give organizations a direction to prepare for compliance and facilitates the management of AI’s potentially harmful applications.

According to a joint report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and NASSCOM, India’s AI market is projected to reach USD 17 billion by 2027, driven by increased enterprise tech spending, a growing talent base, and significant investment inflows into AI technologies. This growth is part of a global trend, with AI investments witnessing a 24% CAGR since 2019, peaking at nearly USD 83 billion in 2023.

The minister emphasized the government’s commitment to leveraging AI to enhance economic growth, healthcare, and agricultural productivity. With a focus on developing AI-skilled individuals, India aims to advance its domestic capabilities and contribute to global AI innovation.

The regulatory framework under development reflects a nuanced understanding of AI’s complexities, focusing on principles and guidelines rather than rigid controls at specific development stages. This approach aligns with global discussions on AI governance, which advocate for international cooperation and a unified framework to address safety and trust in AI applications.

Recognizing that each jurisdiction has taken a different approach to AI regulation, India’s strategy resonates with six global regulatory trends that are shaping the landscape of AI governance worldwide. These trends, centered around mitigating potential harms while enabling AI’s benefits, provide a solid foundation for India’s regulatory efforts:

  1. Core principles: India’s AI guidelines echo the global consensus on core principles for AI, such as respect for human rights and transparency, which are consistent with the OECD guidelines and endorsed by the G20.
  2. Risk-based approach: The planned regulations are expected to adopt a risk-based approach, tailoring compliance obligations to the level of risk associated with various AI applications, a practice widely adopted in jurisdictions concerned with privacy, non-discrimination, and security.
  3. Sector-specific and sector-agnostic rules: Reflecting global practices, India’s framework may include broad, sector-agnostic principles and specific guidelines for high-impact sectors, ensuring comprehensive coverage across diverse AI applications.
  4. Policy alignment: India’s AI regulatory efforts are likely to align with other digital policy priorities, including cybersecurity and data privacy, mirroring the comprehensive approach seen in the EU.
  5. Private-sector collaboration: Using regulatory sandboxes in India would follow a global trend, facilitating collaboration between the private sector and policymakers to ensure safe and ethical AI innovation.
  6. International collaboration: Acknowledging AI’s global implications, India’s push for international cooperation in AI governance aligns with a shared global concern for safety and security by new AI technologies.

Globally, AI regulation is evolving rapidly, with regions like the European Union, the United States, and China adopting varied approaches to manage the risks and opportunities presented by AI technologies. For example, the EU’s AI Act categorizes AI systems based on risk levels, while the US favors sector-specific guidelines prioritizing ethical principles and innovation.

India’s forthcoming AI regulation framework is highly anticipated, promising to offer insights into how the country plans to navigate the complex interplay between fostering technological innovation and ensuring ethical, secure, and responsible AI use.

The global tech community watches closely as India takes bold steps towards becoming an AI powerhouse. The country’s success in creating a balanced regulatory environment could serve as a benchmark for others, highlighting the importance of governance in the age of AI. With the world at a critical juncture in AI’s evolution, India’s journey offers a compelling narrative of innovation, ambition, and responsible technology stewardship.

Image Source: Freepik

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