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MeitY and UNESCO Host National Workshop on Safe, Trusted, Ethical AI

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) South Asia Regional Office, in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, organized the National Stakeholder Workshop on Safe, Trusted, and Ethical AI at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. This event, following the approval of the IndiaAI Mission by the Government of India, marks a significant step towards enhancing India’s AI ecosystem, with a substantial allocation exceeding Rs 10,000 crore.

Significance of the Workshop

The workshop brought together senior officials from Central Line Ministries, State Governments, NITI Aayog, and industry partners such as NASSCOM. Discussions focused on the ethical implications of AI, societal impacts, and strategies for ethical AI implementation in India.

Inaugural Session

Prominent figures including Prof Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India; Shri Abhishek Singh, Additional Secretary, MeitY; Mr Tim Curtis, Director, UNESCO South Asia Regional Office; and Ms Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Social and Human Sciences, participated in the inaugural session. Prof Sood emphasized India’s balanced approach to AI, while Shri Singh highlighted the importance of a safe and trusted AI environment.

Economic Impact and Mission Components

The transformative potential of AI, projected to contribute nearly $500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, was highlighted. MeitY’s leadership in the IndiaAI Mission includes key components such as compute capacity, innovation centers, and startup financing, aiming for technological self-reliance.

Key Agenda Items

Sessions covered AI fundamentals, ethical dimensions, UNESCO’s role in AI ethics, and India’s AI policy landscape. The workshop aligned with the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, serving as a platform for informed policy development.

UNESCO’s Commitment

Mr Tim Curtis reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to supporting India in integrating ethical considerations into AI strategies. Ms Debjani Ghosh, President of NASSCOM, emphasized the need for ethical principles in AI deployment, advocating for equity and inclusion.

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