In this year’s Financial Budget, Finance Minister had mandated NITI Aayog, a policy think tank of the Government of India, to establish the National Program on AI to guide R&D in frontier technologies. With the objective of “AI for All”. In a result of this mandate, NITI Aayog today presented its discussion paper on National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (NSAI) [PDF Paper].

In its discussion paper on national strategy for artificial intelligence released today, NITI aayog has identified sectors — healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure and transportation as key five sectors that can benefit from AI adoption.

The NSAI paper gives many disruptive suggestion including one to utilize market place models for data, annotation, and deployable solutions in AI. We need to democratise access to and development of this technology.

According to the Aayog, application of AI to healthcare could increase access and affordability of quality healthcare while it can enhance farmers income, increase productivity and reduce wastage when used in agriculture.

“In areas of education AI can improve access and quality of education while improving connectivity and safer modes of transportation when put to infrastructure and transportation sectors,” the Aayog said.

Aiming to put AI to use for all and across sectors, the Aayog has identified barriers that needs to be addressed to achieve success in the use of AI.

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These include lack of expertise, absence of enabling data ecosystem, high resource cost and low awareness, privacy and security issues and absence of collaborative approach to adoption and application of AI.

Recognising the importance of research and its commercial adoption in success of AI, the Aayog has proposed setting up of Centre of Research Excellence (CORE) to focus on developing better understanding of existing core research.

Besides, it has proposed setting up of International Centres of Transformational AI with a mandate to develop and deploy application-based research in collaboration with private players.

India initially plans to fund its AI programmes from the Rs 200 crore allocated under the Atal Innovation Mission. However, this is miniscule compared to $150 billion committed by China and government is likely to enhance this substantially with the help of private players once this strategy paper is finalised and an action plan on AI is put in place.

The NSAI discussion paper released today is said to counter China’s fast adaptation of new age technologies like AI, Robotics and Data Analytics.

India view AI as a critical element of its national security strategy, recommends an August 2016 report titled India and the Artificial Intelligence Revolution. Authored by Shashi Shekhar Vempati of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the report advocates spurring AI-based innovation and establishing AI-ready infrastructure as prerequisites for preparing India’s jobs and skills markets for an AI-based future

In order to counter China, in February India joined hands with Japan to launch robotics and artificial intelligence in the defense segment.

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In the same month, PM Modi launched India’s first AI research centre for social good followed by announcement made by tech giant Adobe to establish an AI Lab in Hyderabad.

Via – Economic Times

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