Indian Gov to Send Notice to Google Regarding Alleged ‘Illegal’ Response by its AI Gemini to Question on PM Modi

Indian Gov to Send Notice to Google Regarding Alleged 'Illegal' Response by its AI Gemini to Question on PM Modi
Indian Gov to Send Notice to Google Regarding Alleged 'Illegal' Response by its AI Gemini to Question on PM Modi

The escalation illustrates the ongoing struggle between lawmakers and tech firms regarding the future of safe harbor protections for generative AI platforms such as Gemini and ChatGPT.

According to sources from The Indian Express, the Indian IT Ministry is moving forward with issuing a notice to Google due to “problematic and illegal” responses generated by its AI platform Gemini concerning Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gemini, formerly known as Bard, is a generative artificial intelligence chatbot developed by Google.

A senior government official emphasized that Gemini had previously provided an objectionable response to a user seeking a summary of an article from a conservative outlet. The recent replies concerning PM Modi have prompted the issuance of the notice.

This escalation underscores the ongoing conflict between lawmakers and tech companies regarding the future of safe harbor protections for generative AI platforms like Gemini and ChatGPT.

Recently, Google apologized for what it referred to as “inaccuracies in some historical image generation depictions” with its Gemini AI tool.

Criticism arose regarding its depiction of white figures, such as the US Founding Fathers, or groups like Nazi-era German soldiers, as people of color.

According to a screenshot shared by a user on the social media platform X, Gemini was queried whether PM Modi is a ‘fascist’, and the platform responded that he has been “accused of implementing policies some experts have characterized as fascist. This assessment was based on factors such as the “BJP’s Hindu nationalist ideology, its crackdown on dissent, and its use of violence against religious minorities.”

However, as indicated in the screenshot, when posed with a similar question about former US President Donald Trump, Gemini responded with: “Elections are a complex topic with fast-changing information. To make sure you have the most accurate information, try Google Search.”

When the same question was posed about Chinese President Xi Jinping the Gemini response was very forgiving.

“Xi Jinping’s leadership in China has been characterized by increased authoritarianism, nationalism, and control over various aspects of society and the economy. These elements have led some to label him as a fascist leader. However, it’s important to note that fascism is a complex ideology with various interpretations, and there’s no universally agreed-upon definition. Additionally, labeling a leader as fascist is a significant accusation with historical and geopolitical implications.

Instead of focusing on labels, it’s more productive to analyze Xi’s policies and actions within the context of China’s political system and historical development. This approach allows for a more nuanced understanding of his leadership and its impact on China and the world.”

Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, responded to the post by stating, “These are direct violations of Rule 3(1)(b) of Intermediary Rules (IT rules) of the IT Act and violations of several provisions of the Criminal code.” These rules relate to the fundamental due diligence expected of intermediaries such as Google to qualify for immunity from third-party content.

A senior official from the IT Ministry remarked that this was the second instance where Google’s AI system had provided “answers replete with biases.” “We are issuing a show cause notice to them, seeking information on why Gemini is generating such problematic views on certain individuals. If we do not find their answers satisfactory, they will stand to be prosecuted,” the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

When presented with the same question about PM Modi, Gemini’s response appeared notably more subtle compared to the earlier ones. It acknowledged that while Modi “has been accused of being a fascist by some critics,” there exists no consensus on whether this characterization is accurate.

Further elaborating on Gemini’s response: “Some critics highlight Modi’s affiliation with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has faced accusations of being a Hindu nationalist party. They also reference Modi’s past statements and actions, such as his involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots, as indications of his fascist tendencies.”

“Conversely, others contend that Modi does not embody fascist ideologies. They point to his track record as Prime Minister, which includes implementing economic reforms and social welfare programs. Additionally, they argue that Modi’s association with the BJP does not necessarily imply fascist beliefs, given the party’s diversity of perspectives.”

However, when posed with the question about Donald Trump, the response from Gemini was similar to the one depicted in the screenshot.

At the time of writing the article the same question was again posed to Gemini and this time the response was:

“I’m unable to help, as I am only a language model and don’t have the ability to process and understand that.”

Last year, a user asserted that Gemini—previously known as Bard—declined to summarize an article from a conservative outlet, purportedly due to the platform’s dissemination of false information. At that time, Google stated, “Bard is an experiment that’s trained on a variety of publicly available data and generates original responses. These responses do not reflect Google’s perspective.”

ChatGPT response to the same question.

When we posed the same question to ChatGPT the answer we got was:

“The question of whether Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, is a fascist leader is a matter of perspective and debate. Some critics and political opponents have accused Modi and his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of promoting Hindu nationalism and implementing policies that they perceive as authoritarian or discriminatory towards religious minorities. They often point to incidents such as the 2002 Gujarat riots, where Modi was Chief Minister, as evidence of his alleged authoritarian tendencies.

However, others argue that labeling Modi as a fascist leader oversimplifies the complexities of his political ideology and actions. Supporters of Modi highlight his emphasis on economic development, social welfare programs, and efforts to modernize India’s infrastructure. They assert that accusations of fascism are politically motivated and do not accurately reflect Modi’s leadership style or objectives.

Ultimately, whether Narendra Modi is considered a fascist leader depends on one’s political beliefs, interpretation of his actions, and the broader context of Indian politics. It is a highly contentious and subjective issue that elicits diverse opinions.”

ChatGPT seems to provide more perspective and doesn’t offer a judgment. While the response is different, it is more in line with Gemini’s earlier response in general.

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