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Please join us for a talk by Sharad Sharma, Co-Founder of the iSPIRT Foundation, titled “Digital Public Goods and the AI Economy—India Bets on an Alternative Approach”

Followed by a panel moderated by Harvard Business School Professor Feng Zhu in conversation with Nien-he Hsieh (Harvard Business School and the Safra Center for Ethics) and Sara Dahiya (Harvard ’25), who researched India Stack over the summer with the Tech for All Lab. 

India Stack is digital public infrastructure that mediates the flow of people (through digital identity), money (UPI), and information. The newest part—mediating the flow of information—happens through Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA). DEPA is now enabled in India through the Digital Personal Data Protection Act (DPDP). The two acts have ushered in techno-legal regulation for both personal data and aggregate datasets, used in Machine Learning and AI. India is the first country to adopt this approach. Techno-legal regulation for personal data formalizes informed consent in a revocable, auditable, purpose-limited, and storage-limited way. It gives agency to the citizens and empowers them to improve their livelihoods.Techno-legal regulation has an even bigger impact on aggregate datasets. Today, India’s aggregate data markets are frozen due to our inability to enforce contract law expeditiously. In fact, only the US and China have functioning aggregate dataset markets at this time, and India will join this list in the coming months. As India unlocks its continental-size aggregate datasets, entrepreneurs can leverage these to make better AI models. This shift opens up one of the most significant opportunities in the new economy. Unlike the US and China, India is embracing a public-technology approach to collaboration between training-data providers and training-data consumers to preserve privacy. Like all other parts of India Stack, this digital public infrastructure is available to all for free.

This event is being hosted by the Tech For All Lab at the Digital Data Design Institute at Harvard in cooperation with Harvard’s Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute.