India, as current holder of G20 Presidency, is "well positioned" to help advance a global discussion on AI issues, Microsoft Vice Chair & President Brad Smith has said advocating broader legal and regulatory frameworks for AI, and safety brakes in AI systems controlling critical infrastructure.
Smith, who is on a visit to India and scheduled to participate in the B20 Summit India starting Friday, penned a blog titled `India's AI Opportunity' where he outlined five key recommendations in the Indian context. One of the recommendations is the need to "implement and build upon new government-led AI safety frameworks".
To make the many different aspects of AI governance work on an international level will require a multilateral framework that connects various national rules and ensures that an AI system certified as safe in one jurisdiction can also qualify as safe in another, according to Smith.
There are many effective precedents for this, such as common safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, Smith said.
"As the current holder of G20 Presidency and Chair of the Global Partnership on AI, India is well positioned to help advance a global discussion on AI issues," he said.
Many nations will look to India's leadership and example on AI regulation, he asserted.
"India's strategic position in the Quad and efforts to advance the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework present further opportunities to build awareness amongst major economies and drive support for responsible AI development and deployment within the Global South," he wrote.
Working towards an internationally interoperable approach to responsible AI is critical to maximising the benefits of AI globally, Smith said.
"Recognising that AI governance is a journey, not a destination, we look forward to supporting these efforts in the months and years to come," he said.
The Microsoft honcho presented policy ideas and suggestions in the context of India, including need to implement and build upon new government-led AI safety frameworks.
Among other takeaways from the five-point blueprint for the public governance of AI are "effective safety brakes for AI systems that control critical infrastructure", and developing "a broader legal and regulatory framework based on the technology architecture for AI." Smith also wrote about the need to promote transparency and ensure academic and public access to AI, and on new public-private partnerships to use AI as an effective tool to address the inevitable societal challenges that come with new technology.
Earlier this year, the global population exceeded eight billion people, Smith said adding one out of every six people on earth today, live in India.
India is experiencing a significant technological transformation that presents a tremendous opportunity to leverage innovation for economic growth.
"This paper offers some of our ideas and suggestions as a company, placed in the Indian context," he said.
While AI will benefit in daily tasks by helping people do things faster, easier, and better, its real potential is in its promise to unlock some of the world's most elusive problems, Smith said.
"We've seen AI help save individuals' eyesight, make progress on new cures for cancer, generate new insights about proteins, and provide predictions to protect people from hazardous weather," he said expressing his optimism about the innovative solutions from India.
That said, Smith noted it's not enough to focus only on the many opportunities to use AI to improve people's lives, as he drew attention to "guardrails" and "proper control".
"We also believe that it is just as important to ensure proper control over AI as it is to pursue its benefits. We are committed and determined as a company to develop and deploy AI in a safe and responsible way," he said.
The guardrails needed for AI require a broadly shared sense of responsibility and should not be left to technology companies alone.