AI A Different Animal, Cybersecurity Expert Tells News18, As Open Letter to Halt Experiments Lists Concerns


While companies play a critical role in developing artificial intelligence solutions to make human lives easier, rapid advancements have created concern around the world. With recent AI-powered tech developments happening “too fast”, an open letter was issued to mitigate the risks of revolutionary technology.

A non-profit organisation, Future of Life Institute, published the letter on March 22. As of now, it has received over 27,000 signatures, including those of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Twitter CEO Elon Musk.

One of the signees, Dr Pavan Duggal, who is a cybersecurity expert and an advocate at the Supreme Court, told News18 that the letter was published while asking for a six-month pause on large AI experiments to allow stakeholders to assess the situation.

He said: “Algorithms like ChatGPT and GPT-4 are getting developed, extensively being used and technology is evolving at a very rapid pace.”

Dr Duggal believes that AI should be surpassing human intelligence in the next two decades and because of that it is imperative that there must be legal frameworks to regulate it.

“We need to ensure that AI is not superseding human intelligence and it is used in a constructive manner and not to the detriment of the legal interest of humanity as a whole,” he added.

Regulating AI has been in talks all around the world and also in India. While the Digital India Act includes a section focusing on emerging technologies including AI, the European Union is working on its own AI Act, which could finalise by the end of the year.

Why the worry

The letter reads: “Advanced AI could represent a profound change in the history of life on Earth and should be planned for and managed with commensurate care and resources.”

“Unfortunately, this level of planning and management is not happening, even though recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control,” it noted.

The letter, urging a halt to the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4, talks about the involvement of dedicated regulatory authorities, AI safety research, as well as time to understand and adapt.

Dr Duggal told News18: “AI is a different animal altogether and it requires its own set of regulations.”

According to him, legal frameworks are required to answer questions about the legality of AI, its legal status, and the numerous issues affecting the rights, duties, and obligations of various stakeholders, as well as legal liability issues.

Focus points

According to Dr Duggal, “India needs to address issues pertaining to the accuracy of AI and its authenticity.  The legal liability issues need to be addressed in case the use of AI causes injury to another person.”

“We need to stipulate the duties of due diligence that need to be followed by AI algorithm creators and coders and also big tech companies developing AI algorithms,” he added.

Dr Duggal noted that the role of AI in breaches of cybersecurity and laws must be addressed effectively, while adequate legal safeguards must be established. Additionally, he said the influence of AI on intellectual property rights is a critical key area that must be addressed.

“As countries are creating a legal framework, the impact of AI on privacy is also another important consideration that must be in the minds of lawmakers,” said Dr Duggal.

Furthermore, the SC advocate also highlighted that AI has a high proclivity to violate human privacy. As per Dr Duggal, the misuse of AI against human interests is a critical element that must be considered as governments develop new legal frameworks.

While highlighting what is happening in other countries, Dr Duggal said that the EU’s new AI draft law and the rules pertaining to regulating AI in China are two important initiatives to look at.

He said: “It will be imperative for the Indian government to come up with a holistic thought process and inclusive legislative approach while coming up with new legal frameworks governing AI.  AI needs not to be clubbed with other technologies but needs separate distinct legal frameworks in this regard.”

“The needs of the current times are different. Artificial intelligence needs to be given far more focus in terms of addressing the legalities and policy issues in an enabling and regulatory manner,” Dr Duggal added.

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