Roundtable on A.I. and Governance in India

by Pranav M B last modified Apr 20, 2018 07:41 AM
The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), Bangalore is organizing a roundtable on ‘A.I. and Governance in India' at India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi on March 16, 2018 from 10.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

Event details

When

Mar 16, 2018
from 10:00 AM to 01:30 PM

Where

India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi

Contact Name

Add event to calendar

Download the Event Report


The Roundtable seeks to discuss the various issues and challenges surrounding the design, development and use of AI in Governance (including law enforcement and legal institutions).

In line with the changing times, the government, as well as its agencies, have started using technology and digitization to make governance more efficient and accessible. For example,through its flagship project Digital India, the Indian government has undertaken digitization and revamping of systems related to railways, land records, educational resource etc. As the government pursues its digital agenda, artificial intelligence can be a tool for efficiency and decision making. To realize the potential of AI, a clear understanding of the technology and how it can and should be used is necessary. The first step towards a robust AI policy is a sound Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy that lays the edifice for algorithmic decision making using AI.

Though the adoption of AI in the public sector is still in its nascent stages, the government of India is taking various steps to increase the scale of adoption. The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has constituted a task force on AI to facilitate India's economic transformation. This year’s Union Budget also recognised the need for government investment in research, training and skill development in robotics, AI, digital manufacturing, Big Data intelligence and Quantum communications. Though the adoption of AI in the public sector is still in its nascent stages, the government of India is taking various steps to increase the scale of adoption. The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has constituted a task force on AI to facilitate India's economic transformation. This year’s Union Budget also recognised the need for government investment in research, training and skill development in robotics, AI, digital manufacturing, Big Data intelligence and Quantum communications.

Our research on the application of AI in Indian governance aims to examine five broad sectors of application: law enforcement, discharge of governmental functions, defense,judicial/administrative decision making, and education. A few of the existing government research initiatives identified by CIS include the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) hosted by the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization which focuses on research and development of ICT solutions for defense, and the Ministry of Finance’s use of geospatial analytics for their economic survey on human settlements. There are already instances where government bodies are using AI, an example being the case of the Indian Police force, which is revamping its investigation procedures by using Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. The Delhi police has already started using data and analytics to control crime. In the field of agriculture too, the Indian government has partnered with Microsoft to use AI to improve crop production.

While AI can aid governance in numerous ways, there needs to be a system of checks and balances in order to ensure effectiveness, transparency, and accountability. Hence,governance mechanisms must be able to ensure inclusiveness, while minimising the risks that might arise with the use of the technology. Experts have also predicted that, as the government incorporates AI into specific areas of governance- such as service delivery, it will simultaneously need to incorporate it into broader policy structures such as cyber security and the national education framework.

The process of designing a governance ecosystem is a complex one, and AI poses several pre-existing ethical and legal for each application within this ecosystem. The effectiveness ofAI and Machine learning inherently depends on the availability of data, and it is predicted that the most imminent challenge will also involve the same, especially as India becomesincreasingly data dense and the government is entrusted with its citizens’ data. These challenges could range from the collection, storage, and use of data, to having to answerquestions of fairness, safety, and prevention of misuse. This roundtable seeks to deliberate on these questions and more so as to understand how to optimise the use of AI ingovernance for the public interest. In doing so, the roundtable will use preliminary research that CIS has undertaken into the use of AI and governance in India as an entry point into broader discussions on the challenges and benefits and way forward for AI.


Agenda

Document Actions