“We are working on separate policies on blockchain and AI. The AI policy is going to be perhaps the world’s first policy addressing safe and ethical use of AI,” Santosh Misra, CEO, TN e-Governance Agency (TNeGA), said. No state or country has announced a standalone policy to address the safety and ethics associated with AI, and we have no precedence for it, he added.
A blockchain, is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data and therefore by design, it is resistant to modification of the data making the technology safe. AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems used for predictions. While TN’s AI policy will be a first for the country, earlier this year, the Telangana government released a draft Blockchain Policy for the state to attract blockchain enterprises to set up shop in the state.
Misra was speaking at the launch of CII Connect 2019, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) conference to be held on November 7-8 in Chennai, which hopes to bring together the state’s ICT leaders, policymakers, academics and entrepreneurs.
Tamil Nadu’s AI and blockchain policies are expected to lay down how the state government can leverage the emerging technologies for service delivery and solving governance issues.
Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami recently announced a blockchain platform created by the TNeGA for better e-service delivery to citizens. The platform will enable a predictive system for government service delivery and issue of various identity certificates without citizens having to apply for it.
One of the state’s most recent successful use case for AI has been an AI-powered attendance system for students in two corporation schools. “We are now likely to roll it out state-wide. It saves close to 45 minutes every day in the attendance process,” he said.
The state is keen to counter the ‘massive disasters’ that AI applications can cause when not rolled out keeping safety and ethics in mind, and the policy will address those aspects, Misra said.