The Artificial Intelligence tools available today do not have the capabilities to automatically identify and remove non-consensual intimate images, information technology corporations Microsoft and Google told the Delhi High Court on Thursday, reported Bar and Bench.

The admission came during the hearing of an appeal filed by the two tech companies against a single-judge order passed in April last year.

On April 26, 2023, Justice Subramonium Prasad held that search engines cannot insist on requiring the specific website links from a complainant for removing content that has been ordered to be taken down, reported Live Law.

Prasad also claimed that search engines already possess the necessary technology to remove non-consensual intimate images without requiring complainants to repeatedly seek the court’s intervention.

Microsoft and Google on Thursday told the High Court that Artificial Intelligence tools are not perfect and may be developed to do the task in a year or more.

“To say that you [search engines] are required to do it today otherwise your immunity is gone [under the Information Technology rules], that cannot be,” Senior Advocate Jayant Mehta, appearing for Microsoft, told the court. “It is work in progress. I am endeavouring to reach it. But to say that I must do it today is not fair.”

Representing Google, Senior Advocate Arvind Nigam said that an automated algorithm may not be able to read what appears identical to the human eye.

“It depends on resolution, configuration, watermark etc.,” said Nigam. “I had filed the affidavit before the single-judge stating all this but the argument was rejected.”

Google had previously told the court that the legality of non-consensual intimate images depends on the context in which it was captured or shared while Child Sexual Abuse Material is universally illegal, reported The Hindu.

It is due to this, the tech company told the court, non-consensual intimate content may reappear on the internet despite diligent efforts to prevent this from happening.

After hearing the submission on Thursday, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora told the companies to file a review petition of last year’s order with the single-judge bench.

“This Court is of the view that it would be appropriate for the appellants [Microsoft and Google] to file a review and bring the facts to the view of the single-judge,” said the court. “In the event the appellants are aggrieved by the order of the single-judge in the review petition, they will be at liberty to seek revival of the present petitions.”