MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar on AI, ad-tech monopolies and big tech dominance including Facebook, Google

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Union Minister of State Rajiv Chandrasekhar speaking at the DNPA Conclave & Awards 2024 event spoke at length about the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how ad tech monopoly is the biggest concern for digital media. The Union Minister of State also highlighted how India's technology growth is “fantastic” and how the emergence of AI tools is not only beneficial, but also affecting India's media ecosystem. In his speech, the minister also highlighted the benefits to come through the forthcoming Digital India Act and the impact on “visible disparities”.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Ad Tech Monopoly

MoS Chandrasekhar spoke at length about AI and the challenges facing the current digital media ecosystem in India. Asked about the ad-tech monopoly, he said, “We are concerned about the deep disparity between those who create content and those who help monetize it. From a policy-making perspective, we want to keep the Internet open, and we certainly don't want monetization of the Internet to be limited or controlled by just one, two, or three companies.

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The announcement highlights how big-tech companies like Alphabet-owned Google, Facebook, Instagram, X and others have a virtual monopoly on online advertising revenue. Chandrasekhar pointed out that big tech giants take a much larger share of revenue than news publishers for using their published content. It also highlights that digital media and news publishers earn far less revenue than the big tech platforms. Chandrasekhar said these issues need to be handled in India as many other regions like Australia, Europe, America and Canada seek to create a balance as far as ad tech revenues are concerned for a more equitable structure and distribution.

He said the Digital India Act, framed once after the 2024 general elections, “deals with the very glaring and visible disparity between the small person or the middle person and the big (tech) platforms, the gatekeepers of the Indian digital ecosystem. To monetize that content. Inequality should be legalized or at least regulated by rules of new law”.

MoS Chandrasekhar summed up the message conveyed by MoS about the disparity between digital news publishers and big tech platforms on the revenue-sharing model. If that is the problem, Chandrasekhar also suggests that there may be a solution. He pointed out that the upcoming Digital India Act aims to address the imbalance.

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