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NASSCOM releases early insights on the state of Responsible AI in India: December 2023

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Recognising the imperative to harness the immense potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for both social and economic advancement while effectively mitigating associated risks, nasscom has released early insights on the state of Responsible AI (RAI) in India. Based on analyses of the data collected via a survey of 500+ senior executives from across large enterprises, SMEs and startups engaged in the commercial development and/or use of AI in India, the report highlights beliefs and perceptions of the tech industry about its key strengths and critical areas for improvement when it comes to compliance with the benchmarks for RAI adoption.

The escalating need for RAI among AI users and stakeholders is compelling industry leaders to invest in advanced RAI tools and strategies while emphasizing transparency in their AI practices. As businesses scale up AI maturity, they also tend to report higher RAI maturity. 60% of the surveyed businesses reported having either matured RAI practices and policies or having initiated formal steps towards RAI adoption. 30% reported having basic awareness of RAI imperatives without a formal strategy or framework. Developers are almost two times more likely than users to report higher levels of RAI maturity.

Large enterprises (with annual revenue > 250 crores) are 2.3 times more likely than start-ups and 1.5 times more likely than SMEs to report matured RAI practices. Moreover, a majority of businesses operating across key industries are progressing to achieve satisfactory levels of RAI maturity. Around two-third of businesses in sectors such as BFSI, TMT and Healthcare reported having either matured RAI practices or having initiated formal steps towards RAI adoption.

Workforce development remains central for businesses to ensure robust RAI implementation. As per the survey findings, 89% of businesses that reported matured RAI practices and policies also reported commitments to continue investments in workforce sensitisation and training for RAI compliance. While over 60% of businesses that reported lower levels of RAI maturity also reported commitments to improve compliance through investments in workforce sensitisation and training.

Leadership support is crucial for successful RAI adoption and businesses lean towards top-down accountability for RAI compliance. 69% of respondents suggested that the major share of accountability for RAI compliance should lie with the C-suite or the board of directors at their companies.

Debjani Ghosh, President nasscom said, “2023 was undoubtedly the year of AI and brought to the fore both opportunities and risks that are central to AI adoption. It also spurred discussions on the need for ethical and responsible AI and its pivotal role in solidifying brand integrity and nurturing enduring relationships with stakeholders. Insights from the survey are anticipated to catalyse the creation of stronger industrial policies and strategies aimed at ensuring compliance with RAI. As India gears up to become a global epicentre for AI development and use, these insights will serve as a compass for AI governance and regulations that strike a delicate equilibrium between nurturing innovation and upholding ethical principles.”

However, as Responsible AI adoption continues to evolve, large scale implementation is dependent on the mitigation of various technical, commercial, and regulatory challenges. While businesses continue to focus on trust and transparency in commercial development and use of AI and AI-enabled technologies, lack of access to high-quality data and shortage of skilled technical and management personnel remain the biggest barriers to RAI implementation.

As the industry progresses aligned with tech evolution, nasscom will continue to work with various stakeholders to create necessary frameworks and tools to amplify large-scale skilling and training on RAI compliance.

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