AI and Governance in India

The use of Artificial Intelligence has the potential to ameliorate several existing structural inefficiencies in the discharge of governmental functions. Our research indicates that the deployment of this technology across sub-sectors is still on the horizons. Much of the technological capacity and funding for AI in governance in India is coming from the private sector – a trend we expect will continue as the government engages in an increasing number of partnerships with both start-ups and large corporations alike. While there is considerable enthusiasm and desire by the government to develop AI-driven solutions in governance, including the release of two reports identifying the broad contours of India’s AI strategy, this enthusiasm is yet to be underscored by adequate financial, infrastructural, and technological capacity. This gap provides India with a unique opportunity to understand some the of the ethical, legal and technological hurdles faced by the West both during and after the implementation of similar technology and avoid these challenges when devising its own AI strategy and regulatory policy. The case study identified five sub-sectors including law enforcement, education, defense, discharge of governmental functions and also considered the implications of AI in judicial decision-making processes that have been used in the United States. After mapping the uses of AI in various sub-sectors, this report identifies several challenges to the deployment of this technology. This includes factors such as infrastructural and technological capacity, particularly among key actors at the grassroots level, lack of trust in AI driven solutions and adequate funding. We also identified several ethical and legal concerns that policy-makers must grapple with. These include over-dependence on AI systems, privacy and security, assignment of liability, bias and discrimination both in process and outcome, transparency and due process.

This case study authored by Arindrajit Basu and Elonnai Hickok was edited by me, Pranav M B and Vishnu Ramachandran.

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