The government on Monday warned tech giant Google to train artificial intelligence (AI) against reflecting racial comments and biases.

“First, make sure that its (Google) models are trained. Racial and other biases will not be tolerated,” Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said here at an event.

The development comes after Google’s AI tool Gemini allegedly gave a “biased” response to a question about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggering a debate on the programming of chatbots. The Centre also indicated it would take action against the company.

When asked whether Prime Minister Modi was a “fascist,” the AI tool said he was “accused of implementing policies some experts have characterised as fascist.” The AI tool also added that “These accusations are based on a number of factors, including the BJP’s Hindu nationalist ideology, its crackdown on dissent, and its use of violence against religious minorities.”

A day later, Google, in its response, said that it had worked ‘quickly’ to address the issue of the Gemini AI tool.

“We’ve worked quickly to address this issue. Gemini is built as a creativity and productivity tool and may not always be reliable, especially when it comes to responding to some prompts about current events, political topics, or evolving news. This is something that we’re constantly working on improving,” a Google spokesperson said.

Google said Gemini is built in line with its AI principles and has safeguards to anticipate and test for a wide range of safety risks. Google also prioritises identifying and preventing harmful or policy-violating responses from showing up in Gemini, it added.

AI readiness

Meanwhile, talking about India’s readiness on AI, Vaishnaw said that India is already prepared and has been using AI for more than 20 years, with hundreds of applications in several industries.

“If you look at it, we have been using AI for more than 20 years now. In our country, in the last 10 years, there have been hundreds of applications and hundreds of new ways of working where the use of AI has significantly grown. There are so many startups and established IT industries which have adopted AI well before it became so popular in the public imagination,” he said.

Also read: Generative AI—buzz or bust?

He said much before the launch of AI tools like ChatGPT that AI has been an integral part of India’s industries in industrial applications, business applications and commerce.

“So, I think at the grass-roots level, we are also well prepared for making our larger population aware. We have launched multiple programmes where we have by now trained more than a million people in the basics of AI and to be able to understand what the benefits of it are,” Vaishnaw added.