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TRAI recommends framework to regulate AI development in India

The regulator's latest move assumes significance in the backdrop of a raging global debate on the benefits versus risks of AI and generative AI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday mooted the creation of an independent statutory authority "immediately" to ensure the development of responsible AI (artificial intelligence) and regulation of use cases in the country.

The authority designated as the "Artificial Intelligence and Data Authority of India" (AIDAI) should be tasked with framing regulations on various aspects of AI, including its responsible use, TRAI said.

The suggestions came as part of a comprehensive set of recommendations on "Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in the Telecommunication Sector".

The regulator's latest move assumes significance in the backdrop of a raging global debate on the benefits versus risks of AI and generative AI.

Many nations, in fact, are rushing to work out norms to govern the use of this new-age technology that holds the promise of sweeping transformation while redrawing the contours of many industries.

TRAI suggested that the regulatory framework should comprise an independent statutory authority and a Multi-Stakeholder Body (MSB) that will act as an advisory body to the proposed statutory authority.

Other suggested tenets of the framework include "categorisation of the AI use cases based on their risk and regulating them according to broad principles of responsible AI." It said an independent statutory authority -- designated as "Artificial Intelligence and Data Authority of India" (AIDAI) -- should be established immediately for ensuring the development of responsible AI and regulation of use cases in India.

"For ensuring the development of responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India, there is an urgent need to adopt a regulatory framework by the government that should be applicable across sectors," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said.

The regulator has recommended scope of AIDAI should also include making recommendations to create a national-level mechanism to bring the state governments, local bodies and other agencies on board to adopt the national policy on data governance.

Among the functions that could be assigned to AIDAI are defining principles of responsible AI and their applicability to use cases based on risk assessment.

Its regulation-making functions would also include ensuring that principles of responsible AI are made applicable at each phase of the AI framework lifecycle - design, development, validation, deployment, monitoring and refinement.

"The Authority recommends that AIDAI's scope of work should also include recommending to the government a uniform framework for sharing of data available with government and its entities with industry, educational institutes, R&D centres, startups, etc. within the privacy and other applicable laws and policies," TRAI said.

Other dimensions include developing a model AI governance framework to guide organisations on deploying AI in a responsible manner and developing model ethical codes for adoption by public and private entities in different sectors.

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