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No experimentation on digital nagriks with ‘unreliable’ models

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Saturday made it clear to Google that explanations about unreliability of AI models do not absolve or exempt platforms from laws, and warned that India’s digital ‘nagriks’ “are not to be experimented on” with unreliable platforms and algorithms.

The minister’s comments came after Google, which is under fire over AI tool Gemini’s objectionable response and bias to a question on PM Narendra Modi, said it has worked quickly to address the issue and conceded that the chatbot “may not always be reliable” in responding to certain prompts related to current events and political topics.

Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for IT, in a post on X (formerly Twitter) said ensuring safety and trust are legal obligation of platforms.

“Government has said this before – I repeat for attention of @GoogleIndia…Our DigitalNagriks are NOT to be experimented on with “unreliable” platforms/algos/model…`Sorry Unreliable’ does not exempt from law,” the minister said.

On Friday, Chandrasekhar had warned that Google AI tool Gemini’s response to a question around the prime minister was in direct violation of IT rules as well as several provisions of the criminal code.

Chandrasekhar has taken immediate cognizance of the issue raised by verified accounts of a journalist alleging bias in Gemini in response to a question on Modi while it gave no clear answer when a similar question was asked for Trump and Zelenskyy.

In an e-mail statement earlier on Saturday, a Google spokesperson said, “We’ve worked quickly to address this issue.” Google further said Gemini is built as a creativity and productivity tool and “may not always be reliable, especially when it comes to responding to some prompts about current events, political topics, or evolving news”.

“This is something that we’re constantly working on improving,” the spokesperson said.

The minister had, in fact, marked the post to Google and Ministry of Electronics and IT indicating further action in the matter on Friday.

“These are direct violations of Rule 3(1)(b) of Intermediary Rules (IT rules) of the IT act and violations of several provisions of the Criminal code,” Chandrasekhar said on X earlier.

The journalist has shared a screenshot in which a question was asked to Gemini about Modi. In response, Gemini made uncharitable comments about him but was circumspect when the same query was posed about Trump and Zelenskyy.

It is pertinent to mention that the chatbot’s text-to-image generation feature has been embroiled in controversies. Recently, the Mountain View, California-based tech giant, paused Gemini Artificial Intelligence chatbot’s images generation of people, after ‘inaccuracies’ were flagged in historical images the chatbot was generating.

Social media platform X has erupted with posts describing Gemini as “too woke” when generating historical images. PTI

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