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DoCA Hosts Artificial Intelligence Workshop

Artificial Intellegence to be harnessed to safeguard the interests of consumers: Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs

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The Department of Consumer Affairs DoCA:

Department of Consumer Affairs organized workshop, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Consumers”, here today to have a constructive dialogue between the DoCA and stakeholders to explore issues around safeguarding the interest of consumers while reaping the benefits of AI.

Welcoming the participants, Secretary DoCA Shri Rohit Kumar Singh said that the technology is prevalent in all domains of life and continues to become increasingly important in daily life. Therefore, it is all the more imperative to be careful about the effects of these technologies in respect of their relationship with consumers. Uses of AI technology in monitoring prices of essential commodities, facilitating lodging of consumer complaints were also discussed at the Artificial Intelligence Workshop.

The various stakeholders and experts discussed advantages of AI in terms of identifying shopping preferences, buying patterns, enhanced recommendations, predictive support to customers along with the challenges AI pose including privacy concerns, difficulty in assigning  liability in case of default/lapse  , algorithmic biasness on parameters like gender, colour etc. and AI regulated bad bots.

It was discussed that the main aim is to create a balance between safeguarding the interest of consumers   and using AI for economic growth. Safety measures including Productive data management, critical evaluation, secure interaction, Audit and reputable sources and platform to voice concerns were discussed.  It was further stated that four biggest challenges for AI policy makers   will be Algorithmic biases, substitution of jobs by AI, fake news, non-robust definition of AI and regulation for AI.

By the engaging discussions the following suggestions were proposed: making of regulations by the Government in the field of AI on the basic principles enshrined in our constitution like right to equality and privacy, day to day statutory protection on how AI generated data should be used, Using AI for classification of cases and to channelize them to the right Department and striking a balance between regulations by Government in the field of AI and Innovation.

The Department of Consumer Affairs looks forward to leveraging the outcomes of this session to foster ongoing collaboration between industry stakeholders and policymakers. The ideas and insights shared during this event will serve as a foundation for future policymaking, ensuring the AI regulations aligns with consumer interests. The Department has a long-standing practice of regularly engaging with key stakeholders and subject matter experts.

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