Tamil Nadu becomes first state to unveil ethical AI, blockchain, cybersecurity policies in country

Information Technology secretary Hans Raj Verma talking about the launch of the three policies said that these are foundational policies in leveraging Artificial Intelligence and BlockChain technology

Published: 19th September 2020 08:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2020 08:30 PM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu becomes the first state to come out with Tamil Nadu Safe and Ethical Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain and Cybersecurity policies in the country.

The policies were unveiled by Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami during the valedictory session of the 19th edition of Connect 2020.

Highlighting that Tamil Nadu continues to be a “Destination of Choice” for the IT and IT-enabled services sector in India, the chief minister said that the state would soon be rolling out Knowledge Proof Identity Based Services Delivery Project, which will revolutionise the way government services are offered to citizens.

The project will be implemented by establishing and leveraging the State Family Data Base (SFDB) and Block-Chain Backbone infrastructure.

"This pioneering initiative will take the Government to the Citizens, thus eliminating the need for the citizens to request G2C (government to citizen) services," the Chief Minister said.

Information Technology secretary Hans Raj Verma talking about the launch of the three policies said that these are foundational policies in leveraging Artificial Intelligence and BlockChain technology.

It is learnt that the state IT department has been working for nearly one year with various stakeholders and having multiple rounds of consultations with government departments.

Santosh Mishra, Chief Executive Officer of the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA), told The New Indian Express that the unveiling of the policies is the transformative phase for emerging technologies in Tamil Nadu.

"With the emerging technologies, the government will build an eco-system to derive its maximum usage," he said.

Mishra said that the Tamil Nadu e-governance goal of the Safe and Ethical AI Policy is to allow harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the public good while keeping it safe and ethically compatible with human values.

AI-based solutions are now being used for further improving its citizen engagement, service delivery and problem redressal processes so that “no citizen is left behind.”

"However, AI along with their tremendous benefits also has a potential for being biased and could potentially be misused.

Hence the state has become the first to come forward with a state-level AI Policy that carefully weighs the pros and cons of emerging technology like AI and guides the policymakers," he said.

"This policy recommends the Six-Dimensional TAM-DEF Framework for evaluation of AI-based systems. The framework’s factors like transparency & audit, accountability & legal issues, misuse protection, digital divide and data deficit, ethics and, fairness and equity, ensure that the evaluation is aligned to democratic values," said Mishra.

"It is learnt that the state is already using artificial intelligence in helping farmers fight pests. More such AI-based solutions will soon be rolled out soon," said Mishra.

It is also learnt that the blockchain policy, which was also launched on Saturday, will help in building a Blockchain Backbone infrastructure (network) for Tamil Nadu.

This infrastructure would function as a single source of truth and trust anchor for all government processes and data.

This Blockchain Backbone would be used by the State for reimagining governance and for encouraging adoption of Blockchain within the State.

The policy also stresses on the need of setting up a forum for Blockchain ecosystem development to promote collaborations between industry, start-ups and academia and build a mature Blockchain ecosystem.

Similarly, the cybersecurity policy, which was also unveiled on Saturday, is being framed to protect the information assets of the government (Infrastructure, Software, Citizen Services) and maximize their availability to the government and the citizens.

The policy will also develop a Comprehensive Security Risk Reduction Strategy and establish enterprise approach to security policy and governance.

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