DataLeads India and the Forum on Information and Democracy jointly organized the AI and Information Town Hall gathering around 100 participants from all of India on 3 November 2023. The event was the occasion to launch a discussion on how AI is impacting the information space and media production, dissemination and consumption in India. It gathered media representatives, policy makers, civil society actors and AI innovators. 

The first panel discussion focused on how AI is changing our information space, serving to identify the opportunities and risks as well as the potential regulatory responses. In fact, the upcoming Digital India Act will shape AI deployment and use. As the Act is in its drafting stage, the event happened at a timely moment to influence the legislative process. Distinguished speakers such as the Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, a Senior Lawyer at the Supreme Court, Publishers and the Forum highlighted the need to create democratic safeguards for the information space.

The second panel was the occasion to present a variety of AI innovations and tools that will transform our information space in the long term. Justbaat presented a tool to create media moderator avatars and automate content and Scroll, a digital Indian news publication, showcased a tool to automate video production and how to conduct research. The speakers highlighted the importance of responsible use of AI and human intervention while also showing the potential benefits of AI for media production. A member of Press Trust of India presented a framework for Ethics of AI in journalism which includes transparency, accuracy, fairness, privacy and accountability to support media organizations in their use of AI. Finally, speakers presented how AI is transforming customer engagement and can be used for debunking disinformation. 

The event is part of a larger cooperation between DataLeads and the Forum and provides input for the Forum’s ongoing Working Group on Artificial Intelligence and its implications for the information and communication space. “Incorporating the voices and contexts from around the world is crucial so that our recommendations are relevant and globally applicable” said Katharina Zügel, Policy Manager at the Forum. 

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