Central government of India is planning to launch a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and make it operational by July as the work has begun for a launch, said a report by Business Standard.
Called as the National Artificial Intelligence Centre, the unit is likely to cost around Rs 400-450 crore and will be part of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and will work in collaboration with other entities of the department such as the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), said the report citing senior government officials.
The report said the AI unit will be for citizens and will help in setting up data platform, skilling, reskilling and research platforms, thereby helping to solve legal, regulatory and cybersecurity challenges.
“The panels gave us a lot of fodder to think on, and suggested setting up of a national AI centre,” a senior government official told Business Standard. “The centre will try to innovate in AI for government applications. It will look at how AI can be used in health care, education, and agriculture from a public systems delivery perspective.”
Policy think-tank NITI Aayog had released a discussion paper in June last year on the “National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence”. It had identified five areas — health care, agriculture, smart cities, education and transportation — that would gain the most from AI. The paper highlighted the barriers to adoption but came under criticism for not providing any roadmap for implementation.
The government has been contemplating with the idea of taking help from the technology and already has a smaller centre working on AI under the NIC. It now wants a national centre that could work more with academic institutions to understand how AI can help in governance. “AI can’t grow without data. NIC has two centres — one on AI and one on data analytics. C-DAC has also done phenomenal work on languages. Our interest is to see how this can be used for governance applications,” the senior government official said to Business Standard.
In February last year, India’s IT ministry had also constituted four committees to thoroughly study on various aspects of Artificial Intelligence for citizen use.
In the same month of 2018, 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. In the same month Maharashtra govt. has also announced to bring India’s first artificial intelligence center in alliance with Canadian government. In September 2017, Karnataka state government had too announced that Bengaluru will soon have India’s first multi-faceted artificial intelligence and robotics centre to established in IIIT-Bengaluru campus.