Must collectively find answers to balance data, ethics and governance, says KTR


IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao on Wednesday said that he has ‘no ready answer’ in connection with striking a balance between data, ethics and governance, but batted for a collective approach and responsibility to deal with the issue.

Mr Rao was speaking at NASSCOM’s XperienceAI Summit where he also released the NASSCOM and EY report on ‘Can Enterprise Intelligence be Created Artificially?’ even as he described AI as a tool which helps him to make smart choices, and decisions based on smart predictive modelling.

In conversation with Keshav Murugesh, vice-chairman of WNS Global Services, during a session on ‘IT is Now About Intelligence Technology’, the IT Minister responded by invoking the Property 360 initiative, which he said was criticised by certain sections. He said the initiative would generate an actionable report in case of possible leakages. For instance, the initiative was intended to identify cases in which commercial property tax was being paid for a property, and for said property, the electricity bill payment not in the commercial category was being made. “While motives and intentions were for the best, there has to be procedure,” he said, adding that he has no ready answer and that ‘we have to find answers collectively’.

Mr Rao said artificial intelligence can be leveraged in Telangana through a six-pronged approach — data, skilling, innovation and research and responsible adoption of AI, segmented approach, and funding and partnerships. He said governments have to leverage large datasets available with them, share them and create exchange platforms. The government has created an open data policy for the State and that data from 18 government departments is available for use. He also pointed out that AI computing requires ‘heavy-duty’ computing but noted available infrastructure is not up to the mark for which government, industry and academia must come together.

Making a case for upskilling within the government, he said that emerging technologies will help those who move first, and pointed to the need of governments opening up datasets for the public.

In a separate session, IT Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan also batted for the government providing data as a service to stakeholders, and facilitating data exchange. Data, he opined, should be clean and interoperable. He underscored the need to use AI tools in a transparent and ethical manner and pointed to a need of high-performance computing and shared infrastructure.

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