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Regulating Artificial Intelligence

  • 05 May 2023
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Regulating Artificial Intelligence, OpenAI's ChatGPT, Black Box, Eu’s Artificial Intelligence Act, Responsible AI for All report.

For Mains: Regulating Artificial Intelligence and Way Forward.

Why in News?

The European Parliament has reached a preliminary agreement on a new draft of the Artificial Intelligence Act, which aims to regulate systems like OpenAI's ChatGPT.

  • The legislation was drafted in 2021 with the aim of bringing transparency, trust, and accountability to Al and creating a framework to mitigate risks to the safety, health, Fundamental Rights, and democratic values of the EU.

What is the EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act?

  • About:
    • It defines AI as software that generates outputs such as content, predictions, recommendations, or decisions.
    • It prohibits the use of AI technologies in the highest risk category, including real-time facial and biometric identification systems in public spaces, social scoring of citizens, subliminal techniques to influence behavior, and technologies that exploit vulnerable people.
  • Focus:
    • It focuses on AI systems that have the potential to harm people's health, safety, or fundamental rights.
      • These include AI in healthcare, education, employment, law enforcement, and access to essential services.
    • Before high-risk AI systems can be sold, they will undergo strict reviews to ensure they are transparent, explainable, and allow human oversight.
    • AI systems with lower risks, like spam filters or video games, have fewer requirements.
  • Objective:
    • It aims to address ethical questions and implementation challenges in various sectors ranging from healthcare and education to finance and energy.
    • The legislation seeks to strike a balance between promoting “the uptake of AI while mitigating or preventing harms associated with certain uses of the technology”.
      • Similar to how the EU’s 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) made it an industry leader in the global data protection regime, the AI law aims to “strengthen Europe’s position as a global hub of excellence in AI from the lab to the market” and ensure that AI in Europe respects the 27-country bloc’s values and rules.

What is the Need for Regulating Artificial Intelligence?

  • Uncertainty in Risks Involved:
    • The use of artificial intelligence is increasing, and as technology becomes more advanced and capable of various tasks such as recommending music, driving cars, detecting cancer etc., there are also increased risks and uncertainties associated with it.
  • Black Box:
    • Some AI tools are so complicated that they are like a "black box." This means that even the people who create them can't fully understand how they work and how they come up with certain answers or decisions.
    • It's like a secret box that generates an output, but nobody knows exactly how it does it.
  • Inaccuracy and Biases:
    • AI tools have already caused problems such as mistaken arrests due to Facial Recognition Software, unfair treatment due to biases built into AI systems, and more recently, with Chatbots based on large language models like GPT-3 and 4 creating content that may be inaccurate or use copyrighted material without permission.
    • These chatbots are capable of producing high-quality content that is difficult to distinguish from content written by humans but may not always be accurate or legally permissible.
  • Unsure of Future Behavior:
    • AI poses a unique challenge because, unlike in traditional engineering systems, designers cannot be sure how AI systems will behave. When a traditional automobile was shipped out of the factory, engineers knew exactly how it would function. But with self-driving cars, the engineers can never be sure how it will perform in novel situations.

How is Global AI currently Governed?

  • India:
    • NITI Aayog, has issued some guiding documents on AI Issues such as the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence and the Responsible AI for All report.
    • Emphasises social and economic inclusion, innovation, and trustworthiness.
  • United Kingdom:
    • Outlined a light-touch approach, asking regulators in different sectors to apply existing regulations to AI.
    • Published a white paper outlining five principles companies should follow: safety, security and robustness; transparency and explainability; fairness; accountability and governance; and contestability and redress.
  • US:
    • The US released a Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights (AIBoR), outlining the harms of AI to economic and civil rights and lays down five principles for mitigating these harms.
    • The Blueprint, instead of a horizontal approach like the EU, endorses a sectorally specific approach to AI governance, with policy interventions for individual sectors such as health, labour, and education, leaving it to sectoral federal agencies to come out with their plans.
  • China:
    • In 2022, China came out with some of the world’s first nationally binding regulations targeting specific types of algorithms and AI.
    • It enacted a law to regulate recommendation algorithms with a focus on how they disseminate information.

Way Forward

  • Regulating artificial intelligence involves the creation of a simple regulatory framework that defines the capabilities of AI and identifies those more susceptible to misuse.
  • The government should prioritize data privacy, integrity, and security while ensuring businesses have access to data.
  • Mandatory explainability should be enforced to eliminate the black-box approaches, which will bring transparency and help businesses understand the rationale behind every decision made.
  • To formulate effective regulations, policymakers must try to strike a balance between the scope of the regulation and the vocabulary used, and they should seek input from a variety of stakeholders, including industry experts and businesses.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q1. With the present state of development, Artificial Intelligence can effectively do which of the following? (2020)

  1. Bring down electricity consumption in industrial units
  2. Create meaningful short stories and songs
  3. Disease diagnosis
  4. Text-to-Speech Conversion
  5. Wireless transmission of electrical energy

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2, 3 and 5 only
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2, 4 and 5 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Ans: (b)

Q2. Consider the following pairs: (2018)

Terms sometimes seen in news Context/Topic
1. Belle II experiment Artificial Intelligence
2. Blockchain technology Digital/Cryptocurrency
3. CRISPR–Cas9 Particle Physics

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

Source: TH

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