Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that India will aim to become a “global hub” for artificial intelligence (AI) through technology-based learning and skilling for workforce and students and help solve long-term issues such as climate change and pollution.
Speaking after inaugurating the Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (RAISE) 2020 Summit, Modi emphasised that AI should be used responsibly and the world must be protected against its weaponisation by non-state actors.
“It remains our collective responsibility to ensure trust in how AI is used. Algorithm transparency is key to establishing this trust. Equally important is accountability. We must protect the world against weaponisation of AI by non-state actors,” he said.
“E-courses will be developed in various regional languages and dialects. We will also tap into natural language processing (NLP)-based technology in order to reskill the youth,” Modi said.
“The technology will have a major role in empowering agriculture, healthcare and education and addressing urban issues like reducing traffic jams, improving sewage infrastructure and make our disaster management systems stronger.”
The government is also planning to set up a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) to create an e-education unit to boost digital infrastructure, content and capacity. “Virtual labs are also being created to give hands-on experience to learners,” he said.
The government also said it launched the ‘Responsible AI for Youth’ programme in April. Under this programme, over 11,000 students from schools completed the basic course and are now building their AI projects.
So far, over 45,000 stakeholders from academia, the research industry and government from 133 countries have registered for the four-day event.
India is “uniquely positioned to lead” in the field of AI, which will power software and hardware systems in the same way that electricity powered factories in the previous century, said Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM.
“We are creating an AI Centre of Excellence in partnership with the Government e-Marketplace. Together we will apply the power of AI and advanced analytics to improve usability and transparency and drive efficiency and cost-savings in public procurement,” Krishna added.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, said data is the raw material for AI, and intelligent data digital capital, calling it “a vital national resource”.
“Nations will increasingly compete on digital capital in the future and not physical capital or financial capital. India has the unique advantage to harness its enormous digital capital for AI-driven development, which is bottom-up and inclusive,” Ambani said.
India is estimated to clock $400-500 billion worth of AI capabilities by 2024 or 4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) will be contributed through the AI-enabled internet of things (IoT), chip design and software.