Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly address 'Mann Ki Baat' on Sunday held a whole bunch of surprises for the new tech community, because the PM specifically spoke about the use of machines that
Opening his address by referring to noted Indian scientist and Nobel Prize winner Sir CV Raman, PM Modi reiterated his earlier remarks about science being "neutral", that is possessing the power which humans chose to give it. He also added that the machines were getting smarter through self learning and urged researchers to make use of artificial intelligence to make the lives of the divyangs (differently-abled), farmers and the needy more simple.
PM Modi said in his address:
"...It was interesting to know about the ongoing miraculous accomplishments in the field of Science. AI aids in making robots, bots and other machines meant for specific tasks. Through self learning, machines today can enhance their intelligence to a smarter level. This technology can be harnessed to better the lives of the underprivileged, the marginalised and the needy. In that programme on Artificial Intelligence, I urged the scientific community to deliberate on how AI could help us make life easier for our 'divyang' brothers and sisters."
"Can we make better predictions of natural disasters using AI? Can we use it to provide assistance to farmers on crop yield? Can AI be used as tool to simplify the outreach of health services and modernise medical treatment?"
Earlier this month, PM Modi had downplayed the fears of citizens losing jobs to robots and automation. Speaking at the inauguration of Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence on the Kalina campus at University of Mumbai, he had affirmed that AI would increase the citizens’ productivity, and not take away their employment.
Through a series of events and speeches from earlier this year, PM Modi is seen to have been deliberately showcasing India as well as his government as technologically forward. In fact, industry insiders are happy to see that the Modi-led NDA government is working towards supporting a tech-driven future.
For example, this year, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has also doubled the allocation on Digital India programme to ₹3,073 crore in 2018-19.
Keeping in mind the current government’s long-term plans, reports have suggested that the Modi-led BJP will strive to achieve its commitment towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the help of AI by 2030, as it has the potential to churn out a slew of applications while keeping in mind the quality of approach.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos, earlier this year, PM Modi had said, “Today, data is a real wealth and it is being said that whoever acquires and controls the data will have hegemony in the future. The global flow of data is creating big opportunities as well as challenges.”
You can read PM Modi's entire speech here.
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Prajakta is a Writer/Editor/Social Media diva. Lover of all that is 'quaint', her favourite things include dogs, Starbucks, butter popcorn, Jane Austen novels and neo-noir films. She has previously worked for HuffPost, CNN IBN, The Indian Express and Bose. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org