New AI law to be drafted by September: Law minister

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Staff Reporter :
Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Anisul Haque has said that a new law regarding artificial intelligence (AI) will be drafted by September as the use of AI is rapidly spreading both home and abroad.

“AI technology is changing the world rapidly. The world is thinking of it. We are also thinking of how we can formulate a law for it,” he told the journalists at the Secretariat on Thursday after holding a meeting regarding the formulation of AI law.

He said, ” Considering how AI is changing the world, it is necessary to think about it globally, including in Bangladesh.

To initiate this, an outline of the law has been prepared today, but it’s such a vast topic that it cannot be concluded in one day.”

The State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications, and Information Technology, Junaid Ahmed Palak, was also present at the meeting.

“Today we sat down to make an outline of the law. The issue is so vast that it would not finish in a single discussion or meeting,” the law minister said.

The Law Minister said that sufficient knowledge and expertise are required to enact laws regarding AI.

“We have decided today to initiate the drafting process, and by September, they will have a draft ready,” he told the journalists.

He, however, declined to reveal specific details of the outline at this moment as it is subject to change.

He mentioned that they are examining laws in other countries and consulting experts to gather knowledge on this matter.

The law minister believes that they will be able to formulate the law within a given time.

Talking with the journalists, Palak emphasised the importance of AI in advancing the economy, creating job opportunities, and attracting foreign investment.

“The law minister has taken a time-befitting decision. Last February, he asked me what we are doing with artificial intelligence and how prepared we were for the formulation of the law,” he said.

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“After obtaining directives, we have talked with the ICT adviser and the experts who have knowledge on it.

After a meeting with them, we have reached the conclusion that we cannot do anything bypassing AI if we want to build a smart Bangladesh, smart governance, and smart economy,” he said.

He expressed confidence that, with proper regulations, AI can be utilised for the betterment of society.

Furthermore, Minister Palak highlighted the potential risks associated with AI and the need to prevent any misuse of it for the security of the nation and the world.

The state minister said that the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence in recent days and their potential applications for economic prosperity and job creation are significant.

He emphasised that exploring AI can increase revenue by attracting foreign investment and unlocking new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Palak further mentioned the alarming concerns raised by various researchers and innovators worldwide regarding the potential catastrophic consequences of AI.

He highlighted that the Law Minister has provided guidance on addressing these concerns, encouraging collaboration with entrepreneurs, and actively preventing any misuse of AI.

He stressed the importance of ensuring the safety and security of the people, national security, and global safety while embracing AI advancements.

Minister Palak concluded by expressing confidence in the ample time provided by the Law Minister for drafting comprehensive laws to regulate AI responsibly.

The ministers mentioned that they are studying laws in the European Union, executive orders in the United States, and policies implemented by countries like South Korea since 2017.

“We will sit with the law minister again after taking opinions from different stakeholders, including the meritorious students who are studying on this subject,” Palak said.