Comptroller and Auditor General Girish Chandra Murmu on Monday stressed on responsible use of artificial intelligence, saying while this emerging technology has the potential to contribute $15.7 trillion (roughly Rs. 12,91,30,459 crore) to the global economy by 2030, it also raises concerns related to privacy and fairness.
In his opening remarks at the SAI20 Senior Officials’ Meeting, the CAG also advocated the need for balance between short-term growth and long-term sustainability of the blue economy, as the blue economy can make all the difference to planet earth and sustenance thereon.
SAI20 has chosen two themes representing new-age opportunities and concerns — blue economy (sustainability aspect) and responsible AI (emerging technologies) — and emphasised the need for gender balance in sustainable growth in blue economy and principles underlying responsible and ethical use of AI.
As India holds the presidency of the G20, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is the chair for SAI20 — the engagement group of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) of the G20.
Recalling that the expert opinion in the recently held seminar organised by SAI India in Lucknow brought out the insight that democratisation of AI technologies is inevitable, Murmu said, “Today we have reached a level where AI could contribute up to USD 15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030”.
He said AI has the potential to lead socio-economic growth and it can be used to benefit citizens and the country through targeted and timely intervention.
Healthcare, retail, finance, agriculture, food, water resources, environment and pollution, education, special needs, transportation, energy, public safety, disaster management and judiciary are a few of the areas that AI has the potential to solve.
“While AI offers many opportunities, it also raises concerns related to transparency and fairness.
“These issues include the impact of AI on privacy, bias and discrimination in AI systems, and inadequate understanding of AI algorithms by the general public,” he said.
Murmu further said these problems are complex and interconnected, highlighting the need for responsible AI practices, where the fairness of solutions is ensured.
“The cornerstone of responsible AI is ethics. Ethics focussed on safety and reliability, inclusivity and non-discrimination, equality, privacy and security, protection and reinforcement of positive human values,” he added.
While explaining the criticality of the priority area, blue economy, CAG stated that it is an economic system that encompasses a spectrum of policy and operational dimensions aimed at conserving marine and freshwater environments while promoting their sustainable use, producing food and energy, supporting livelihoods, and acting as a driver for economic advancement and welfare.
Murmu emphasised that the Supreme Audit Institutions had an opportunity to ensure that the journey of exploring the oceanic resources does not follow the same path as exploitation of land by careful evaluation of management and regulation of businesses operating within the sector, with an emphasis on promoting sustainable practices that will benefit both current and future generations.
CAG explained that the unplanned and unregulated development in the coastal areas needed to be highlighted in audit, and at the same time governments had to be shown with evidence the importance of ensuring that the livelihoods of the people living in these areas do not get affected adversely.
SAIs from India, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, South Korea, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye and UAE are participating in the three-day event. Two representatives of World Bank are also attending the event.