Towards Responsible #AIforAll in India

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Anna Roy Senior, Advisor, NITI Aayog, Government of India & Arunima Sarkar, Project Lead, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, World Economic Forum


  • NITI Aayog is developing an approach towards ensuring responsible usage of AI in India with the support of Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum.
  • The approach defines broad principles that AI solutions should adhere to, while also exploring implementation and enforcement mechanisms.
  • A draft document has been released for public consultation. NITI Aayog is currently exploring a roadmap for enforcement of principles across the public sector, private sector and academic research.

Building further on the National Strategy on AI (NSAI) released in 2018, NITI Aayog is now working on outlining an approach towards realising the economic benefits of AI in a manner that is “responsible” to its users and broader society. The approach attempts to establish broad principles for design, development and deployment of AI in India – drawing on similar global initiatives but grounded in the Indian legal and regulatory context. The paper also explores means of operationalization of principles across the public sector, private sector, research and academia.

NITI Aayog, the think tank of the Government of India, is developing the approach to “Responsible #AIforAll” based on a large-scale stakeholder consultation facilitated by The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) India. A Responsible AI working document (developed on the basis of a consultation workshop held in December 2019, organised by the C4IR India, World Economic Forum) was presented during a global consultation with AI ethics experts around the world on 21 July 2020 and subsequently released by NITI Aayog for wider public consultations.

India strives to balance regulation and innovation in the domain of AI technology.

What should AI ethics principles look like?

A number of Ethical AI principles have been developed globally on the underlying theme of protection of basic human rights. For an approach more tailored to the Indian context, principles in the working document have been developed on the basis of the “fundamental rights” afforded to Indian citizens as per its Constitution. These principles have been designed to be “long lasting” in pre-empting risks of AI regardless of the use case in question.

At the same time, however, nimbleness is required for these principles to not stifle innovation and to benefit from the latest developments in this rapidly developing field. The principles will need to evolve and an institutional mechanism to update them periodically is likewise necessary.

It is also important to evaluate the kind of regulatory framework that might work for India, bearing in mind that for a number of sectors (health, finance) there already exist regulators who may be positioned as the natural choice for discharging this function by extending their regulatory ambit. Thus the question of leaving it to sectoral regulators and legislation or having a new statutory authority confronts the policy-makers. Another consideration that arises is the “degree” of enforcement required for adherence to the defined principles. Do we just need high-level principles, or should we be regulating specific applications and use cases?

How do you put these principles into practice?

Enforcement mechanisms are evolving at various levels, viz. standards, guidelines, legislation. Drawing the line between self-certification and regulation is one of the key questions being discussed by NITI Aayog in various expert consultations. While self-certification is useful and should be explored with basic elements notified by the Government for adherence by enterprises, the same cannot be a substitute for a more direct approach.

In various expert consultations, a risk-based stratification of AI use cases suggestive of different degrees of enforcement of principles has emerged as the most favoured line of action.

Towards enforcement of principles, AI ethics standards are necessary but not sufficient, and need to be supplemented by guidelines and legislation. Further notifying standards alone would be a very passive approach and more initiative needs to be directed towards ensuring these get adequately integrated in an organization’s culture and workflow. Guidelines and legislation though more powerful tools for enforcement of principles, are also less agile and flexible to innovation.

AI ethics in the private sector

Internal ethics boards, self-assessment guides and external audits have been recommended by several experts as key mechanisms for private sector enforcement. Under certain scenarios, one could consider requiring providers to allow independent audit(s) of their solutions. This can help prevent or mitigate unanticipated outcomes.

The other major issue is to distinguish between sector-agnostic and sector-specific guidelines. Evaluation of AI-based use cases at the industry level can help identify sector-specific variations. Depending on the impact, benefits and risks attached to the portfolio of use cases, governance frameworks can then be operationalized accordingly. This will also allow for testing the responsible AI policy framework in real-world applications.

AI ethics in research

To ensure that research in the field of AI adheres to the principles, experts have recommended drawing from practices in the field of healthcare. Specific practices include the creation of “Internal Review Boards (IRBs)” or specific ethics review committees.

Incentivizing ethical AI research is another key focus area. NITI Aayog, while expounding the concepts of “India as the AI Garage” and “Global AI Alliance” in the NSAI, has been advocating inter alia international collaboration on ethical AI and government funding directed to similar projects. The NITI Aayog paper would aim to identify broad sectors in which research can be considered.

AI ethics in public sector deployment

As the public sector deployment of AI systems is expected to impact population at large, it’s important to ensure responsible public procurement of AI. To do so, mechanisms will need to be put into place to ensure that choices of public sector procurement professionals are guided by multidisciplinary group of experts in the field, which may take the form of “ethics review committees” to review procurement documents and the evaluation of proposals.

Other operationalization recommendations

A number of other techniques are being considered, including:

  • Creating environments conducive to innovation, such as regulatory sandboxes for facilitating innovation, development and adoption of AI.
  • “Ethics by design” approach whereby ethical principles are implemented from the beginning of the design process.
  • Continuous post-deployment monitoring of AI systems (similar to post-market surveillance for drugs and medical devices).
  • Ensuring accessible and affordable grievance redressal mechanisms for decisions made by the AI system.
  • In case of AI-based decision making, contestability (ability to appeal) also becomes important. If an algorithm will be making decisions that affect people’s rights and public benefits, it is important to describe how the administrative process would preserve due process by enabling the contestability of automated decision-making.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The World Economic Forum was the first to draw the world’s attention to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the current period of unprecedented change driven by rapid technological advances. Policies, norms and regulations have not been able to keep up with the pace of innovation, creating a growing need to fill this gap.

The Forum established the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network in 2017 to ensure that new and emerging technologies will help—not harm—humanity in the future. Headquartered in San Francisco, the network launched centres in China, India and Japan in 2018 and is rapidly establishing locally-run Affiliate Centres in many countries around the world.World Economic Forum | Centre for the Fourth Industrial R…

The global network is working closely with partners from government, business, academia and civil society to co-design and pilot agile frameworks for governing new and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, blockchain, data policy, digital trade, drones, internet of things (IoT), precision medicine and environmental innovations.

Learn more about the groundbreaking work that the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network is doing to prepare us for the future.

Want to help us shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Contact us to find out how you can become a member or partner.

One of the key aspects of India’s ambition of #AIforAll includes responsible AI and balancing ethical considerations with need for innovation. When released, India’s Responsible AI for All paper will lay down recommendations for addressing some of the AI ethics challenges in India’s future roadmap for AI.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Terrorism ‘spreading and destabilizing’ entire regions, Guterres warns States, at key Kenya conference

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

Drones are saving lives in Tanzania’s remote communities

Dignified health for all who live here

Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain receive €279m after natural disasters in 2019

China, forever new adventures

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

I cycled over 6,000km across the United States to document climate change. Here’s what I learned

Climate action ‘both a priority and a driver of the decade’: Guterres

Antitrust: Commission consults stakeholders on guidance for national courts when handling disclosure information

No more lead in PVC to protect public health, say MEPs

Commission reviews relations with China, proposes 10 actions

Available mental health services: is it only about professionals or institutions?

UN rights experts ‘gravely’ concerned at spike in civilian casualties in north-west Myanmar following internet shutdown

COVID-19: Single market must emerge stronger from the crisis, say MEPs

Europe and the tragicomic ‘black sovranismo’

Humanitarian migration falls while labour and family migration rises

Facebook has built an AI-based tool that fixes the social network when it crashes

Africa’s future is innovation rather than industrialization

UN rights expert calls for civilian protection as fighting escalates between military and armed group

East Africa locusts threaten food insecurity across subregion, alerts UN agriculture agency

Migration crisis update: What are the chances of a fair deal at this EU Summit?

2021 EU budget must focus on supporting a sustainable recovery from the pandemic

David McAllister underlines the need for rapid progress in EU-UK negotiations

Prisons are failing. It’s time to find an alternative

This tool shows you which cities will flood as ice sheets melt

How to build a digital infrastructure that benefits emerging economies

A rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the war-torn Yemen

Banking Union: ECOFIN and Parliament ready to compromise

4 ways family businesses can lead the pandemic recovery

Could electric vehicles pose a threat to our power systems?

GSMA Announces Final Event Lineup for Highly Anticipated 2019 “MWC Los Angeles, in Partnership with CTIA”

Summer 2018 Interim Economic Forecast: Resilient Growth amid increased uncertainty

“The winner is who can accelerate the transition to a new digital era”. The Sting reports live from EBS 2015: a Digital Europe 4.0

EU mobilises €21 million to support Palestine refugees via the UN Relief and Works Agency

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

Under-fives’ daily screen time should be kept to 60 minutes only, warns WHO

Preventing the Pandemic of Mental Illness

COVID-19: Emerging technologies are now critical infrastructure – what that means for governance

Mario Draghi quizzed for last time by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

MEPs and European Youth Forum call on EU to Invest in Youth

EU to host international donors’ conference for Albania to help with reconstruction after earthquake

Manufacturing is finally entering a new era

Business could learn plenty about cybersecurity from the secret state

In Bali, UN chief Guterres outlines importance of international financial cooperation for sustainable development

Detecting online child sexual abuse requires strong safeguards

The ‘yellow vests’ undermined Macron in France and the EU

UN conference agrees better ways for Global South countries to work together on sustainable development

How India is solving its cooling challenge

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

Kids who live in the countryside have better motor skills, a study in Finland has found

Cohesion Policy after 2020: preparing the future of EU investments in health

MEPs demand an end to migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

Search Engine neutrality in Europe in danger: Are 160.000 Google filtering requests good enough?

Our children’s career aspirations have nothing in common with the jobs of the future

World Editors Forum President: Credible media vital in the fight against COVID-19 and fake news epidemic

Coronavirus: here’s what you need to know about face masks

Donor countries set international standard for preventing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment in development sector

Can medical students be prepared for Global Health ethical issues?

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

More Stings?

Advertising

Trackbacks

  1. […] Source: Towards Responsible #AIforAll in India – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights o… […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s