Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday, urged the tech industry and tech adopters to focus their energies on competing with artificial intelligence (AI) and challenging it instead of seeing it as a magic tool that make people lazy and uses it only for basic jobs like letter writing. 

Modi said in an exclusive interaction with Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates that efforts must be made to surpass AI’s present capabilities. 

“If we use AI as a magic tool, it will perhaps lead to a grave injustice. If AI is relied on out of laziness...then it is the wrong path. I should have a competition with ChatGPT and strive to go ahead of AI...,” Modi said. 

Deceptive potential

Modi said that he was pushing AI to recognise and adapt to the myriad languages of India. He also stressed the need to label AI-generated content, cautioning about the deceptive potential of deepfakes. 

Modi called for a well-considered legal framework to regulate AI and deepfake technology.

“If such a good thing (AI) is given to someone without proper training, it is likely to be misused...I suggest that we should start with clear watermarks on AI-generated content. So that nobody is misguided...In a democratic country like India, anybody can use deepfake... It’s crucial to acknowledge that deepfake content is AI-generated..We need to think about some dos and don’ts..,” Modi said. 

Modi expressed confidence that India will “gain a lot” in the fourth Industrial Revolution with the digital element at its core. 

“AI is very important. Sometimes, I jokingly say that in our country, we call our mother ‘Aai’. Now I say that when a child is born, he says ‘Aai’ and AI as children have become so advanced,” Modi said. 

Historically, during the first and second industrial revolutions, India had lagged because it was a colony, he noted. 

NaMo App

Modi told Gates how AI was used during the 2023 G20 Summit, how his Hindi speech was translated to Tamil during the Kashi Tamil Sangamam event, and how AI was used in the NaMo App.

Modi’s 45-minute conversation with Gates focused on technology, digital infrastructure, and artificial intelligence. They also discussed issues such as healthcare, climate change mitigation, and special vaccine efforts planned to protect girls and children from cervical cancer. Both leaders discussed the convergence of technology and sustainability initiatives. 

Bill Gates lauded India’s progress in technological advancements and Digital Public Infrastructure, where the country has made a mark. 

Gates said, “Here, it is like a Digital Government. India is not only adapting technology, but it is actually leading the way.” 

“These are early days in AI...It will do things that you think are hard and then it will fail to do something which you think is easy. It seems like AI is a huge opportunity but there are a few challenges that come with it.”


Modi highlighted how he had democratised access to technology across the country and took the infrastructure to villages across the country. He emphasised the creation of digital public infrastructure as a public good. 

“When I used to hear about the digital divide in the world, I used to think that I would not allow anything like that to happen in my country. Digital public infrastructure is a major requirement in itself… Women are more open to adopting new technology in India…”

Modi also said he had rolled out initiatives to empower women and highlighted the transformative ‘Namo Drone Didi program’, which equips women with drone piloting skills.

Green GDP

“I have started the ‘Namo Drone Didi’ scheme. They say that they didn’t know to ride a bicycle but they are now pilots and can fly drones. The mindset has changed,” Modi said. 

On green initiatives, Modi also stressed the need to embrace the concept of ‘Green GDP’ as an important metric for assessing countries’ performance.

On vaccines, Modi said that his government—in the third term— plans to allocate large sums of money in the budget for encouraging research on developing vaccines for cervical cancer and protecting all the girls in the country.