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The Need For an Indian System To Regulate AI


  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an enduring presence capable of extensively transforming the landscape of work. It can create robust and seemingly inventive solutions through the compilation of data from various online origins.
  • Nevertheless, it holds the ability to produce favorable as well as adverse results.
  • As a result of these considerations, the necessity for regulating AI becomes crucial.


GS3 –Science and Technology-

  • Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

Mains Question

Compare and contrast the eastern and western models of regulation of artificial intelligence. Discuss which of them hold more relevance for India as a nation. (15 marks, 250 words).

Regulation of AI- difference between the eastern and western model

Eastern ModelWestern Model
Eastern model is inclusive, acknowledging the intersection between the legal aspects and the ethical aspects of the rules. It is rooted in the underlying principle of morality.Rooted in the Eurocentric perspective of legal principles. (Eurocentrism, often referred to as Eurocentricity or Western-centrism, constitutes a perspective that revolves around Western civilization or a prejudiced viewpoint that prioritizes it over non-Western civilizations.)   The Western approach suits Western societies well, offering distinct regulations that a law-abiding community is likely to follow, along with defined prohibitions and penalties for those who breach the regulations.
Regarding Eastern approaches, the Japanese government’s Integrated Innovation Strategy Promotion Council has established a set of guidelines known as the “Social Principles of Human-Human-Centric AI.” Released by the Japanese government in March 2019, these principles underscore the fundamental values of a society capable of accommodating AI.   The initial segment outlines seven social principles that both society and the government should uphold while dealing with AI: prioritizing human welfare, promoting education and literacy, ensuring data protection, guaranteeing safety, maintaining fair competition, adhering to principles of fairness, accountability, and transparency, and fostering innovation.   Chinese regulations add another layer of interest. The opening passage of Article 4 in these regulations states: “The provision and utilization of generative artificial intelligence services must comply with laws and administrative regulations, uphold social morality and ethics, and adhere to the following provisions.” This law further outlines the specific values that artificial intelligence services should uphold and promote, as well as the objectives that should be accomplished through these AI-driven applications and services.  The Western approach emphasizes a risk-centered strategy. Initially, legislators construct a risk hierarchy and evaluate the risks associated with each kind of AI-driven application. This hierarchy of risks is then categorized into four groups: ‘unacceptable risk,’ ‘high risk,’ ‘limited risk,’ and ‘low risk.’     In the European Union (EU), legislators have specified prohibited activities for ‘unacceptable risks,’ established regulated activities for ‘high risks,’ and outlined straightforward disclosure-based requirements for ‘low risks.’   Similarly, Brazil has also implemented a risk categorization system along with stringent governance measures applicable to all AI applications.   Canada follows a comparable framework involving the identification of prohibited activities and well-defined regulations governing the functioning of AI applications.

Reasons for the above differences between the east and the west:

In the 1930s, Professor Northrop from Yale Law School conducted a fascinating analysis of legal systems in the East and West.

  • After scrutinizing the cultural distinctions between these two systems, Professor Northrop concluded that Eurocentric or Western legal systems established laws through a process of “postulation.” This means that the legal system precisely outlines the required actions within a societal structure and specifies penalties for non-compliance. In contrast, Eastern or Oriental legal systems constructed laws through “intuition.” This approach entails the law defining the intended outcomes and the underlying moral principles.
  • In India, our ancient legal systems were highly effective due to the clear indication of desired outcomes and an inherent moral code. People complied with these laws through intuitive decisions grounded in morality. This approach is reflected in instances like the Pandavas’ forest exile and Emperor Ashoka’s edicts.. In neighboring China, Emperor Wudi in 140 BC has also shown unbiasness in his duties towards punishing his own sister, hence upholding morality.

Which model does India follow?

  • NITI Aayog has disseminated three discussion papers addressing AI, and they exclusively reference AI regulations from the EU, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. It’s indicated that “responsible AI principles” discussed in the papers have been derived from systemic factors observed in global AI systems. Reading the discussion papers implies that NITI Aayog might lean towards adopting the Western model.
  • Justice V. Ramasubramaniam, who recently retired from the Supreme Court of India, expressed disappointment in multiple judgments about our tendency to uncritically adopt Western legal systems.


  • Consequently, regulations for AI-based systems must be established, and India must determine its own regulatory approach. We should revert to our cultural origins and address these regulations from a distinct perspective.
  • The moment has arrived for India to devise regulations that harmonize with Indian values, tailored by and for Indians. It’s hopeful that AI regulations will be executed in a manner surpassing initial indications. India should turn its focus toward Eastern influences.

February 2024