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Use of AI for Legislation

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Science and Technology – Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life

 

Source: TH

 Context: Most mature democracies are now using Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for better pieces of legislation and parliamentary procedures.

 

How AI tools can assist parliamentarians?

  • In preparing responses for legislators,
  • Enhancing research quality,
  • Obtaining information about any Bill, preparing briefs,
  • Providing information on particular House rules, legislative drafting, amendments, interventions, etc.
  • AI can also empower legislators to make informed decisions by having access to
    • Insights into citizen grievances,
    • Media opinions, and
    • Voices of citizen-centric associations.

 

In India,

  • Parliamentarians manage large constituencies.
  • AI can analyse citizens’ grievances and social media responses, and flag issues and priorities that need immediate attention.
  • It can also assist parliamentarians in seeking citizen inputs for public consultation of laws and preparing a manifesto.

 

For AI to work in India:

  • First, laws need to be codified: The current laws are opaque, and complex and there is a huge translation gap between law-making, law-implementing and law-interpreting organisations.
    • The Indian government has set up the India Code portal.
  • The interface should contain a complete chain: Right from the parent Act to the subordinate pieces of legislation enabling any entity to get a 360° view.
    • This becomes more critical in special situations such as COVID-19. For example, the central government issued over 900 while State governments issued over 6,000 notifications.

 

How will this aid?

  • Can act as a single window platform. For example,
    • If an entrepreneur wants to open a manufacturing unit in Maharashtra, AI can tell what acts and compliances are applicable.
    • If a citizen wants to check the eligibility for welfare schemes, AI can recommend which schemes are eligible, based on details provided by citizens.
  • Can also simulate the potential effects of laws. For example, various datasets such as the Census, data on household consumption, and taxpayers, can be modelled.
  • Can uncover potential outcomes of a policy.
  • Can flag outdated laws.

 

Global best practices:

  • The House of Representatives in the US: Introduced an AI tool to automate the process of analysing differences between Bills, amendments and current laws.
    • This is to readily see the impact of amendatory provisions in Bills that they move through the legislative process.
  • The Netherlands House of Representatives: “Speech2Write” system converts voice to text and “translates” voice into written reports.
  • Japan’s AI tool: Assists in the preparation of responses for its legislature and also helps in the automatic selection of relevant highlights in parliamentary debates.
  • Brazil: Ulysses system supports transparency and citizen participation.

 

Initiatives in India:

  • The ‘One Nation, One Application’
  • The National e-Vidhan (NeVA) portal

 

Way ahead:

  • The use of AI must be encouraged in an open, transparent, and citizen-friendly
  • To be mindful of the fact that AI is a means to an end and not an end in itself.

 

Conclusion:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has given a strong thrust to the Digital India initiative and the digitisation of services.
  • This momentum needs to be kept up and utilised in the field of law, and policy-making, by harnessing the power of AI.

 

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