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Make tech creative, not destructive: PM Modi at G7 Summit

By, New Delhi
Jun 15, 2024 04:48 AM IST

During its G20 presidency last year, India stressed the need for international AI governance and will continue collaborating globally to ensure AI transparency.

The global community must ensure the benefits of technology reach all sections of society in order to eliminate inequalities and lay the foundation of an inclusive society, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday as he met a galaxy of world leaders on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with United Kingdom PM Rishi Sunak and World Bank President Ajay Banga at the G7 Outreach Summit, in Apulia on Friday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with United Kingdom PM Rishi Sunak and World Bank President Ajay Banga at the G7 Outreach Summit, in Apulia on Friday. (ANI)

Participating in an outreach session that focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and energy, Modi called on technology to be creative, not destructive, spoke about the role it played in the recently concluded general elections in India, especially in making the process free and fair, and underlined India’s role in taking up issues of the Global South. Describing the 21st century as an era of technology, Modi said that “technology gives the courage to take man to the moon” but also creates challenges such as cybersecurity.

“Together, we must ensure that the benefits of technology reach all sections of society...help eliminate social inequalities, and expand human strengths instead of limiting them,” he said, speaking in Hindi.

“We must turn monopoly in technology into totality. We must make technology creative, not destructive. Only then will we be able to lay the foundation of an inclusive society,” he added.

During the day, Modi, who is on his first overseas visit in his third term, also held bilateral meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, British PM Rishi Sunak, and Italian Prime Minister and host Giorgia Meloni.

His later also had a brief encounter US President Joe Biden as world leaders gathered for a “family photo”.

“It’s always a pleasure to meet @POTUS @JoeBiden. India and USA will keep working together to further global good,” Modi said in a post on X that was accompanied by four images of him embracing and shaking hands with Biden.

India is among 12 countries and five international organisations invited by Italy, the host of the G7 Summit, to join the outreach session. Given the focus on AI and energy, Modi highlighted the four principles – availability, accessibility, affordability and acceptability – that guide India’s approach towards energy.

While referring to the recent election to the European Parliament and upcoming polls in some other countries, Modi highlighted the magnitude of the Indian elections, which featured more than 2,600 political parties, more than one million polling booths, more than five million electronic voting machines, 15 million polling staff, and 640 million voters exercising their franchise.

“The entire electoral process has been made fair and transparent by the ubiquitous use of technology...This was the biggest festival of democracy in the world and in the history of humanity...And it is my good fortune that the people of India have given me the opportunity to serve them for the third consecutive time,” he said.

Modi said India will work with all countries to make AI transparent, fair, secure, accessible and responsible. India, as a founding member and lead chair of the Global Partnership for AI, is promoting cooperation among all countries, he said. He pointed to India’s human-centric approach, saying it was among the first few countries to frame a national strategy for AI, which was the basis for the launch of the “AI Mission”. The mantra of this mission is “AI for All” and India is promoting cooperation among all countries as the lead chair of the Global Partnership for AI.

India stressed the importance of international governance in AI during its G20 presidency last year and it will continue to work with all countries in future to make AI transparent, fair, secure, accessible and responsible, Modi said.

India is the first country to fulfil all its commitments under COP ahead of schedule and is making every effort to fulfil its commitment to achieve “Net Zero” by 2070, he said. Besides starting “Mission LiFE”or Lifestyle For Environment, India launched the “Ek Ped Maa Ke Naam” (One tree in the name of the mother) on June 5, the Environment Day. “Everyone loves their mother. With this feeling, we want to make tree plantation a mass movement with a personal touch and global responsibility. I urge all of you to join it,” he said.

Pointing to his plans to build a developed India by 2047, Modi said the commitment that no section of society is left behind is also important in international cooperation. “The countries of the Global South are bearing the brunt of global uncertainties and tensions. India has considered it its responsibility to put the priorities and concerns of the countries of the Global South on the world stage,” he said.

In these efforts, India has given high priority to Africa and has been contributing to the socio-economic development, stability and security of all countries in Africa.

Modi also thanked PM Meloni for inviting him to the summit and extended best wishes to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on his birthday.

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