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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : Directing AI for better and smarter legislation

 

 

Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Science and technology, Artificial intelligence(AI), Generative AI, Big Data, GANs, ChatGPT1 tool, DALL.E2 etc
  • Mains GS Paper III and IV: Significance of technology for India, AI, indigenisation of technology and development of new technology.

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is attracting the attention of entrepreneurs, political leaders, and policymakers the world over.
  • Mature democracies are now using AI tools for better pieces of legislation and parliamentary procedures.

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Artificial intelligence(AI):

  • It is a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.
  • It describes the action of machines accomplishing tasks that have historically required human intelligence.
  • It includes technologies like machine learning, pattern recognition, big data, neural networks, self algorithms etc.
  • g: Facebook’s facial recognition software which identifies faces in the photos we post, the voice recognition software that translates commands we give to Alexa, etc are some of the examples of AI already around us.

 

Generative AI:

  • It is a cutting-edge technological advancement that utilizes machine learning and artificial intelligence to create new forms of media, such as text, audio, video, and animation.
  • With the advent of advanced machine learning capabilities: It is possible to generate new and creative short and long-form content, synthetic media, and even deep fakes with simple text, also known as prompts.

 

AI innovations:

  • GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks)
  • LLMs (Large Language Models)
  • GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformers)
  • Image Generation to experiment
  • Create commercial offerings like DALL-E for image generation
  • ChatGPT for text generation.
    • It can write blogs, computer code, and marketing copies and even generate results for search queries.

 

Use Of AI tools in legislation and parliamentary procedures:

  • 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.
  • They can empower legislators to make informed decisions by having access to insights into citizen grievances, media opinions, and voices of citizen-centric associations.

 

Obstacles:

  • For AI to work in India, we first need to codify our laws.
  • Current laws are opaque, complex and there is a huge translation gap between law-making, law-implementing and law-interpreting organizations.
  • The Indian government has done well to set up the India Code portal, but it cannot be entirely relied upon as a ‘single source of truth’.

 

Steps that need to be taken:

  • We need to make laws machine-consumable with a central law engine, which can be a single source of truth for all acts, subordinate pieces of legislation, gazettes, compliances, and regulations.
    • For example, AI can tell us if an entrepreneur wants to open a manufacturing unit in Maharashtra and 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.
  • AI can analyze citizens’ grievances and social media responses, and flag issues and priorities that need immediate attention.
  • It can assist parliamentarians in seeking citizen inputs for public consultation of laws and preparing a manifesto.

 

Global practice:

  • The House of Representatives in the United States has introduced an AI tool to automate the process of analyzing differences between Bills, amendments and current laws.
    • This is of immense help to legislative staff to readily see the impact of amendatory provisions in Bills that they move through the legislative process.
  • The Netherlands House of Representatives: It has implemented the “Speech2Write” system which converts voice to text and also “translates” voice into written reports.
    • Inter-Parliamentary Union (an international organization of national parliaments): “Speech2Write comprises automatic speech recognition and automated editing capabilities.
      • It can remove filler words, make grammatical corrections and propose editing decisions.”
    • 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 has developed an AI system called Ulysses which supports transparency and citizen participation.
    • India Is innovating and working towards making parliamentary activities digital such as the ‘One Nation, One Application’ and the National e-Vidhan (NeVA) portal.

 

Uses of AI:

  • AI can simulate the potential effects of laws.
    • For example, various datasets such as the Census, data on household consumption, taxpayers, beneficiaries from various schemes, and public infrastructure can be modeled.
  • AI can uncover potential outcomes of a policy.
  • It can also help in flagging laws that are outdated in the present circumstances and which require amendment.
    • For example, ‘The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897’ failed to address the COVID-19 pandemic situation when the virus seemed to have overwhelmed the country.

 

Ethical Issues with AI:

Way Forward

  • The interface should contain a complete chain, right from the parent Act to the subordinate pieces of legislation passed by the central government and the amendment notifications, enabling any entity to get a 360° view.
    • Such a requirement becomes more critical in special situations such as COVID-19.
    • For example, in measures related to COVID-19, the central government issued over 900 notifications while State governments issued over 6,000 notifications on the subject.
    • Many provisions in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) are controversial and redundant.
    • According to Article 309 (attempted suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) continues to be a criminal offence.
  • We have many pieces of criminal legislation that were enacted more than 100 years ago that are of hardly any use today.
    • Some include the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, the Public Gambling Act, 1867, the Prisons Act, 1894,
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has given a strong thrust to the Digital India initiative and a digitisation of services.
    • This momentum needs to be kept up and utilized in the field of law, policy-making, and parliamentary activities, harnessing the power of AI.
  • The use of AI must be encouraged in an open, transparent, and citizen-friendly manner.
  • AI is a powerful tool, but at the end of the day, we should be mindful of the fact that it is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
  • We must add rigor and responsibility to developing AI technology, enforce ethical guidelines, conduct regular audits for fairness, identify and address biases, and protect privacy and security.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

What are the different elements of cyber security ? Keeping in view the challenges in cyber security, examine the extent to which India has successfully developed a comprehensive National Cyber Security Strategy.(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)