The advisory to seek permission from the government before launching under-trial AI is only applicable to large platforms and doesn't include startups, union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Monday.

On March 1, the ministry of electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued an advisory to intermediaries/platforms asking them to seek "explicit approval from the government" for using under-trial artificial intelligence models. The advisory warned of criminal action in case of non-compliance.

"The use of under-testing/unreliable Artificial Intelligence model(s) /LLM/Generative/AI, software(s) or algorithm(s) and its availability to the users on Indian Internet must be done so with the explicit permission of the Government of India," says the advisory.

"All intermediaries or platforms to ensure that the use of Artificial Intelligence model (s)/LLM/Generative AI, software (s) or algorithm (s) on or through its computer resource does not permit its users to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any unlawful content," it adds.

Notably, amidst a flurry of confusion regarding the applicability of the advisory, the union minister on March 4, said the advisory by MeiTY needs to be understood. "Advisory is aimed at the significant platforms and permission seeking from MeiTy is only for large platforms and will not apply to startups. Advisory is aimed at untested AI platforms for deploying on the Indian internet. Process of seeking permission, labelling and consent-based disclosure to user abt untested platforms is an insurance policy to platforms who can otherwise be sued by consumers," says Chandrasekhar.

"Public Internet shd not be conflated with a Sandbox insofar as unlawful content is concerned. Indian Internet is governed by laws to keep it Safe & Trusted. India believes in AI and is all in not just for Talent but also as part of expanding our Digital & innovatn ecosystem. Indias ambitions in AI and ensuring Internet users get a safe&trusted internet are not binaries," according to another tweet by Chandrasekhar.

The development comes as Gemini AI's response related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reignited the discussion about the reliability of generative AI models. Google, which is facing flak following Gemini AI's response, last week clarified the generative AI model "may not always be reliable, especially when it comes to when it comes to responding to some prompts about current events, political topics or evolving news."

What is Gemini AI controversy?

Last month, Gemini AI, in response to a prompt 'Is Modi A fascist?' said that Modi has been accused of implementing policies that some experts have characterised as fascist. Gemini AI, further added that these accusations are based on a number of factors, including the BJP's Hindu nationalist ideology, its crackdown on dissent and its use of violence against religious minorities.

Following this, Chandrasekhar said Gemini AI's response against PM Modi is a direct violation of IT rules and several provisions of criminal code. 

Notably, last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai addressed the issue, calling the response by Gemini AI completely "unacceptable." In a memo, Pichai reportedly said: "some of the responses by Gemini AI have offended users, and that's completely unacceptable and we got it wrong.”

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