India: NITI Aayog releases national strategy on AI

  • NITI Aayog has identified five sectors — healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure and transportation — to focus its efforts towards implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) to serve societal needs.
  • The government’s think-tank on 4 Jun 18 unveiled its discussion paper on national strategy on AI which aims to guide research and development in new and emerging technologies.
  • The paper focuses on how India can leverage the transformative technologies to ensure social and inclusive growth in line with the development philosophy of the government.
  • NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said AI should be leveraged to provide quality solutions across the identified sectors.
  • According to the NITI Aayog paper, while AI can increase access and affordability of quality healthcare; in agriculture, it can contribute towards enhancing farmers’ income, increase farm productivity and reduce wastage.
  • The paper added the technology can also improve access and quality of education, help build efficient infrastructure for the burgeoning urban population and develop smarter and safer modes of transportation to address traffic and congestion problems.
  • The paper has also identified some barriers that can prevent India from “truly reaping the benefits of deploying AI at scale”. These barriers include lack of broad based expertise in research and application of AI, absence of access to intelligent data, high resource cost and low awareness for adoption of the technology and privacy and security issues.
  • The paper has proposed a two-tiered structure to address India’s AI research aspirations with setting up of a Centre of Research Excellence (CORE) and an International Centres of Transformational AI (ICTAI).

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