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India and Generative AI

  • 05 Jun 2023
  • 14 min read

This editorial is based on Good and bad: On India and artificial intelligence which was published in The Hindu on 05/06/2023. It talks about Generative AI and how India can harness its potential while avoiding adverse effects.

Prelims: Generative AI, Deepfakes, ChatGPT, Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), INDIAai

Mains: Generative AI – Benefits, Threats and Way Forward

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is AI that can create new data. There are many instances of generative AI in the world today, most commonly used to generate text, images, and code in response to users’ requests, even if they are capable of more.

Their widespread adoption really embellished their capabilities, leading to awe, then worry. OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot mimics intelligence very well; today, it has become synonymous with the abilities of generative AI at large. In the last few years, AI models backed by neural networks trained on very large datasets and with access to sufficient computing power have been used to do good, such as finding new antibiotics and alloys, for clever entertainment and cultural activities, and for many banal tasks, but it has caught attention most notably with its ability to falsify data. The world is past being able to reliably differentiate between data that faithfully reflects reality and data made to look that way by bad-faith actors using AI.

What Exactly is Generative AI?

Generative AI is a type of AI system that can create new content or data that resembles human-made content, such as text, images, music, code, etc. It works by using neural networks to learn from large amounts of data and then generate outputs based on the patterns and rules it has learned.

What are the Benefits of Generative AI?

  • Content Creation: Generative AI enables the automated creation of various types of content, such as text, images, videos, music, and more. This can significantly speed up the content generation process for industries like advertising, entertainment, and marketing.
  • Personalization: Generative AI can be used to create personalized experiences for users. By analyzing user preferences and behaviour, generative AI systems can generate tailored recommendations, product suggestions, and customized content, enhancing customer satisfaction and engagement.
  • Creative Assistance: Generative AI tools can assist and inspire creative professionals in their work. Artists, designers, and writers can use generative AI to generate ideas, explore new possibilities, and overcome creative blocks. It can act as a collaborator, offering fresh perspectives and aiding in the creative process.
  • Data Augmentation: Generative AI can generate synthetic data that closely resembles real data. This is particularly useful in machine learning applications where a large amount of labelled data is required. Synthetic data can be generated to augment existing datasets, helping improve the performance and generalization of machine learning models.
  • Simulation and Training: Generative AI can be used to simulate realistic scenarios for training purposes. For example, in industries like autonomous vehicles or robotics, generative AI can create virtual environments to train algorithms and test systems without the need for physical resources or risking safety.
  • Problem Solving: Generative AI can be applied to problem-solving tasks, such as generating new drug compounds, optimizing supply chain logistics, or creating efficient designs. By exploring vast solution spaces, generative AI algorithms can propose novel solutions and accelerate the discovery process.
  • Virtual Characters and Agents: Generative AI can bring virtual characters and agents to life. By imbuing them with generative capabilities, they can exhibit natural language understanding, interact with users, and respond dynamically to different situations. This has applications in virtual assistants, chatbots, gaming, virtual reality, and more.
  • Art and Entertainment: Generative AI has opened up new avenues for artistic expression. It can generate unique artwork, compose music, produce realistic animations, and even generate entire stories or scripts. This fusion of human creativity and machine intelligence has led to exciting possibilities in the realm of art and entertainment.

What are the Threats from Generative AI?

  • Hallucinations: These are the errors that AI models can make because they are not human and rely on data and training to provide answers. Sometimes, generative AI models can produce outputs that are nonsensical, inaccurate, or misleading.
  • Deepfakes: These are the synthetic media that generative AI models can create by manipulating or combining existing images, videos, or audio. Deepfakes can be used for malicious purposes such as spreading disinformation, impersonating people, or blackmailing.
  • Data Privacy: Generative AI models require large amounts of data to learn and generate outputs. However, this data may contain sensitive or personal information that can be compromised or misused by third parties. Generative AI models may also collect user data without their consent or knowledge.
  • Cybersecurity: Generative AI models can be used by hackers to create new and complex types of malwares, phishing schemes, or other cyberattacks that can evade conventional security measures. Such attacks can have serious consequences such as data breaches, financial losses, or reputational damage.
  • Copyright issues: Generative AI models can create content that resembles or copies existing human-made content, such as text, music, or art. This can raise ethical and legal questions about the ownership, attribution, and rights of the original and generated content.

How can India Harness the Benefits of Generative AI?

  • Healthcare: Generative AI can help diagnose and treat diseases more accurately by analyzing medical images and data. It can also help predict patient outcomes and take preventive measures.
  • Education: Generative AI can help create personalized learning content and assessments for students based on their abilities and interests. It can also help teachers with grading, feedback, and curriculum design.
  • Agriculture: Generative AI can help optimize crop yield and quality by generating recommendations for irrigation, fertilization, pest control, and harvesting based on weather, soil, and plant data.
  • Manufacturing: Generative AI can help design and produce new products and services that meet customer needs and preferences by analyzing market trends and consumer behavior. It can also help improve efficiency and quality control in production processes.
  • Entertainment: Generative AI can help create new forms of art, music, literature, and games that can entertain and inspire people. It can also help personalize content recommendations and advertisements based on user preferences.

What are India's Initiatives for Generative AI?

  • Launching the Generative AI Report: INDIAai, the Government of India's National AI Portal, conducted numerous studies and hosted three roundtable discussions with some of the most prominent voices in Generative AI, AI Policy, AI Governance and Ethics, and academia to examine the impact, ethical and regulatory questions, and opportunities it brings to India.
  • Joining the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI): In 2020, India joined forces with 15 other countries to form the GPAI. The purpose of this alliance is to establish frameworks for the responsible utilization of emerging technologies.
  • Fostering an AI ecosystem within the country: The Indian government has been dedicated to fostering an AI ecosystem within the country by investing in research and development, supporting startups and innovation hubs, creating AI policies and strategies, and promoting AI education and skilling.
    • National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence:
      • The Government has published the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence with the objective of developing an ecosystem for the research and adoption of Artificial Intelligence.
    • National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems:
      • Under this Mission, Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH) has been established on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, which aims to provide the state-of-the-art training and capacity building for the creation of next-generation scientists, engineers, technicians, and technocrats in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
    • Artificial Intelligence Research, Analytics and Knowledge Assimilation Platform:
      • It is a Cloud computing platform, aiming to make India a pioneer amongst emerging economies with regards to AI and transform sectors like education, health, agriculture, urbanization and mobility.

What should India do to Overcome Challenges posed by Generative AI?

  • Developing a clear and comprehensive regulatory framework that defines the purpose, scope, and principles of generative AI regulation. The framework should balance the protection of individuals from potential harms with the promotion of innovation and economic growth.
  • Building an accurate and fair liability framework that assigns responsibility and accountability for the actions and outcomes of generative AI systems. The framework should consider the roles and obligations of different stakeholders, such as developers, providers, users, and regulators.
  • Incorporating essential regulatory facets such as transparency, accountability, privacy, security, ethics, and human oversight. These facets should ensure that generative AI systems are trustworthy, reliable, and respectful of human rights and values.
  • Investing in research and development of generative AI technologies that can address India's specific needs and challenges. India should leverage its strengths in data science, engineering, and entrepreneurship to create innovative solutions for various sectors and domains.
  • Fostering collaboration and cooperation among different stakeholders, such as government, industry, academia, civil society, and international partners. India should engage in dialogue and exchange of best practices with other countries and regions that are leading in generative AI development and regulation.


Generative AI is a powerful and promising technology that can bring many benefits to India and its people. However, it also poses many challenges and risks that need to be addressed by effective and responsible regulation. India should adopt a proactive and balanced approach to generative AI implementation that ensures its safety, security, and ethical use.

Drishti Mains Question

Discuss the potential benefits and challenges of generative AI for India’s development and security. Suggest some measures that India should take to harness the opportunities and mitigate the risks of generative AI.

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)

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