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Gemini Row: MoS IT Criticizes Google; Startups Concerned About MeitY Advisory on AI

Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar criticizes Google for AI chatbot controversy, while startups express concern over MeitY's AI advisory. The advisory aims to regulate AI products to prevent the spread of unlawful content. #GeminiRow #AI #MeitYAdvisory

The Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has expressed dissatisfaction with Google's handling of the controversy surrounding its AI chatbot, Gemini. The chatbot came under fire for its response to a question about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Chandrasekhar criticizing Google for allowing "unreliable" AI data to be released to the public without adequate testing or safeguards.

Chandrasekhar emphasized that digital citizens should not be subjected to experimentation with unreliable platforms or algorithms. He highlighted the legal obligations of platforms to ensure safety and trust, stating that apologies for unreliability do not exempt them from legal consequences.

The controversy arose when a user posted screenshots of Gemini's response to a question about Modi's political stance, where the chatbot referred to Modi being "accused of implementing policies some experts have characterized as fascist." Chandrasekhar stressed that such responses violate guidelines, prompting Google to issue a statement acknowledging the issue and emphasizing Gemini's role as a creativity and productivity tool, which may not always be reliable for certain topics.

The incident has raised concerns about the sensitivity of AI-related technology, leading the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to issue an advisory requiring digital platforms to seek prior approval before launching any AI product in India. The advisory aims to ensure that AI models or algorithms do not enable users to host, display, upload, or share any unlawful content.

Chandrasekhar clarified that the advisory is specifically aimed at larger platforms like Google and would not apply to startups. However, the move has been met with criticism from AI startups, with some expressing concerns about its impact on generative AI startups.

Despite the criticism, Chandrasekhar reaffirmed India's support for AI, noting its potential to expand the country's digital and innovation ecosystem. He emphasized that India's ambitions in AI and ensuring a safe and trusted internet are not mutually exclusive, urging platforms to use labelling and explicit consent to protect themselves and comply with existing IT and criminal laws.