OpenAI hires first employee in India for AI policy

This hiring comes as India elects a new administration to shape AI regulations. OpenAI aims to advocate for favourable regulations in India as governments worldwide consider how to regulate AI technology.

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OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has appointed Pragya Misra, its first employee in India, to lead government relations and public policy affairs. This move comes as India prepares for a new administration to influence AI regulations in one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing tech markets. Previously with Truecaller AB and Meta Platforms Inc., Misra brings a wealth of experience navigating policy issues and partnerships within the tech industry.

The hiring reflects OpenAI’s strategic efforts to advocate for favourable regulations amid the global push for AI governance. Given its vast population and expanding economy, India presents a significant growth opportunity for tech giants. However, regulatory complexities in India have posed challenges, with authorities aiming to protect local industries while embracing technological advancements.

Why does it matter?

OpenAI’s engagement in India mirrors competition from other tech giants like Google, which is developing AI models tailored for the Indian market to address linguistic diversity and expand internet access beyond English-speaking urban populations. OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, emphasised the need for AI research to enhance government services like healthcare, underscoring the importance of integrating emerging technologies into public sectors.

During Altman’s visit to India last year, he highlighted the country’s early adoption of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Altman has advocated for responsible AI development, calling for regulations to mitigate potential harms from AI technologies. While current AI versions may not require major regulatory changes, Altman believes that evolving AI capabilities will soon necessitate comprehensive governance.