Artificial Intelligence

Why NITI Aayog CEO believes India is in a position to be an AI global leader

Amitabh Kant while addressing a virtual event organized by FICCI said, “India today is in a position to be a global leader in AI.” Kant also added that several factors contributing to this development include the availability of data, which is central to the development of artificial intelligence.

Kant was speaking at a virtual symposium on AI for Air Warriors organized by FICCI. He added artificial intelligence has been catalyzing technological landscape and the impact has been felt across sectors, transforming mobility, defense and governance.

“Early on we understood the importance and came out with a national AI strategy in the summer of 2018, to use AI to address social inclusion challenges,” Kant said listing sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, education to find impactful applications of AI. There is also a critical impact on defense and AI is crucial tech for air warriors, he said.

Kant opines that we have now moved from data-rich to a data-intelligent country. “India’s public digital infrastructure has created an opportunity for AI to be leveraged to increase transparency in government outcomes while ensuring that personal data and privacy are safeguarded,” he added.

Additionally, the vast geographical and cultural diversity present unique development challenges in terms of agriculture, healthcare, infrastructure, transport, defense, etc. These challenges, once solved for the diverse populations would allow the solutions to be applied elsewhere too, believes Kant.

Also adding to the fact that India has a large young population eager to adopt AI, premier institutions with newly minted stem graduates every year and the third largest startup ecosystem providing mindset and talent ecosystem.

Although there are some challenges that can be addressed in the following ways said Kant:

Research and development: Publish many more documents compared to US and China, therefore making applied and core research critical.

Computing infrastructure: The supercomputing infrastructure has to catch up, and there is a need to democratize the access to the said infrastructure.

Privacy and data security: These considerations have to be accounted for. There has to be responsible management which is key to realizing the benefits of AI, while minimizing the risks associated with it.

“There is huge potential to champion responsible use of AI for social good to realize a more inclusive society. This makes India a perfect test bed for not only developing AI but the diversity allows solutions to be developed for other economies, thereby potentially establishing India as a technology garage,” said Kant.

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