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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Minister of State for Electronics and IT Clarifies Statements on Sam Altman’s Visit to India


Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, shared his thoughts on Sam Altman, the creator of ChatGPT, and the controversy surrounding the development of large language models in India.

Minister Chandrasekhar acknowledged Altman’s significant contributions to the field of artificial intelligence (AI) through his work at OpenAI. He emphasized the need to respect Altman’s achievements but cautioned against considering him as the sole authority on India’s AI aspirations. According to the minister, Altman lacks a comprehensive understanding of India’s capabilities in AI. He expressed that there would be areas of disagreement between them.

The minister stressed the importance of fostering Indian capabilities in AI, particularly through the growth of startups and the overall ecosystem. Altman clarified that collaborative efforts with Indian startups were necessary, emphasizing that this was not limited to the government’s efforts alone. While acknowledging the possibility of partnering with Altman, he highlighted the need for creating indigenous AI capabilities.

In response to a video shared by CP Gurnani of Tech Mahindra, where Altman was quoted as saying that India’s chances of developing a tool similar to ChatGPT were “hopeless,” Altman clarified that his statement had been taken out of context. He clarified that he was specifically addressing the challenge of competing with OpenAI’s $10 million investment. In that context, attempting to rival OpenAI would be difficult.

When asked about Altman’s discussions with top Indian leaders during his visit, Minister Chandrasekhar revealed that Altman recognized India’s potential in AI. He mentioned the possibility of future collaborations between the Indian government, startups, and Altman, highlighting numerous opportunities for cooperation.

During his visit, Altman had a productive conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where they discussed India’s remarkable tech ecosystem and the country’s potential benefits from AI. Altman expressed his enthusiasm for the meetings held with people in the Prime Minister’s Office.

In conclusion, Minister Chandrasekhar clarified his stance on Sam Altman’s visit to India, emphasizing the need for building Indian capabilities in AI while acknowledging Altman’s contributions. He highlighted the potential for collaboration between the government, Indian startups, and Altman in the future.


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