• | 5:16 pm

AI giant OpenAI aims to foster Indian startups

CEO announces OpenAI's intention to invest in Indian startups even as govt vows to safeguard ‘digital citizens’ from potential harm caused by AI

AI giant OpenAI aims to foster Indian startups
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

OpenAI is looking to tie up with and fund startups as a first step towards setting up a base in India, chief executive officer Sam Altman said.

An OpenAI team has already met with a few startups, Altman said, adding, “We were excited to see the energy that Indian startups are bringing to the table and we are now ready to start planning how to begin funding these startups in India.”

“We had some conversations with (on OpenAI Startup Fund) and are excited to do more. We would love to invest in Indian startups,” Altman said at a fireside chat with university students in New Delhi.

OpenAI, which has been investing in startups working in the AI arena, last month raised around $175 million for the OpenAI Startup Fund I.

Altman also invited applications from bright undergraduates and college drop-outs to join OpenAI, which created the revolutionary ChatGPT chatbot.

“Many of our best researchers are undergraduates or college drop-outs. You certainly do not need a PhD to do great work, Altman said at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi.

Altman, who is currently on a world tour to meet heads of States and policymakers to drive regulations on AI, met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

“We talked of what the country should do, and also the need to think about global regulations to ensure we prevent some of the downsides from happening, but it was a great hour,” he said, adding that education was one of the key areas to adopt AI, and it was discussed with the prime minister.

“Great conversation with @narendramodi discussing India’s incredible tech ecosystem and how the country can benefit from AI. Really enjoyed all my meetings with people in the @PMOIndia,” Altman tweeted on Friday.

Modi replied to the tweet saying, “Thank you for the insightful conversation @sama. The potential of AI in enhancing India’s tech ecosystem is indeed vast and that too among the youth in particular. We welcome all collaborations that can accelerate our digital transformation for empowering our citizens.

Meanwhile, while presenting a progress report on digitization in the past nine years under Modi, minister of state for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the government will implement regulations to safeguard “digital citizens” from potential harm caused by AI. 

Expressing concerns over the growing toxicity and criminality on the Internet, Chandrasekhar said the government is committed to thwarting attempts to harm online users.

The minister said the number of internet users in India Indian is expected to jump to 1.2 billion soon, from the current estimated 850 million, while acknowledging the need for stringent measures against crimes such as doxing, in which private information is maliciously disclosed without consent.

Chandrasekaran said talks with stakeholders on the Digital India Bill would begin this month, and added that the new personal data protection bill will be introduced in Parliament soon.

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