Bombay HC seeks info from Centre on AI bot that turns pics into nudes

Published: 22 October, 2020 12:08 IST | PTI | Mumbai

The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations seeking that the media, particularly TV news channels, be restrained in their reportage on the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput

Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the Union government what the latter could do on the latest reports of artificial intelligence (AI) bot that reportedly turns womens photographs into nudes. A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni cited a news report in a newspaper on Wednesday on such an AI bot and asked Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh to check with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting about it.

The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations seeking that the media, particularly TV news channels, be restrained in their reportage on the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. It was hearing the additional solicitor general's (ASG) arguments on whether a statutory mechanism was required to regulate the content broadcast by the electronic media. The ASG said the Union government was in favour of the press exercising self-regulation.

However, if a media house breached any guidelines, the Union government could take action, ASG Singh said. It was then that the court pointed out the above report in a newspaper. "If you can gather from ministry what the print media has reported...We want you to check malice in the report. Kindly check with the ministry," the bench said.

The ASG subsequently told the court he had gone through the report and spoken to the officers concerned, and "action could be taken under the IT Act". Singh said there were provisions in the Information Technology Act, namely section 69A and 79(3)(b), under which action could be taken against the menace. The bench then said, "The issue is extremely serious and you (ministry) have to take steps."

The ASG assured the bench that the ministry would take steps to address the issue and the concern expressed by the court on an "urgent basis".

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