April 19, 2024

India’s Central Bank Explores AI-Powered Conversations for Digital Payments

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the nation’s central bank, has issued a press release proposing the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) for conversational payments within the unified payments interface (UPI), an instant payment system developed in India.

Thursday, August 10, the RBI acknowledged the transformative impact of UPI on digital payments in India, highlighting its user-friendliness, security, and safety. The central bank also observed that the incorporation of novel features has allowed the platform to cater to the diverse requirements of the country’s economy. Looking ahead, as technological advancements continue, the RBI emphasized the potential of creating an AI-driven system capable of executing transactions through conversational interactions. The RBI’s statement reads:

“As artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly integrated into the digital economy, conversational instructions hold immense potential in enhancing ease of use, and consequently reach, of the UPI system.”


As outlined in the announcement, this system will be accessible through both smartphone and feature phone-based UPI channels. The RBI believes that this initiative will contribute to a broader adoption of digital services across the nation.

Regarding language support, the initial launch will encompass Hindi and English, with plans to expand and include additional Indian languages in the future.

Despite the evident potential for positive impact, it’s worth noting that AI also carries inherent risks and challenges. On August 9, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, pointed out how AI is beginning to pose risks from the perspective of “video verification.” He highlighted an AI-generated avatar remarkably resembling a real person.

In a similar vein, the music industry has demonstrated that AI-generated voices can closely emulate those of popular musicians. In response, reports indicate that Universal Music Group and Google are in discussions about licensing melodies and vocal tracks of artists for use in AI-generated compositions.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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