On the day one of global AI summit, RAISE 2020, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address of the responsible use of artificial intelligence for social empowerment.
In the august presence of the minister of electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, CEO of IBM Arvind Krishna, chairperson and MD of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani, Indian-American computer scientist Raj Reddy, CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant and Secretary of MeitY Ajay Prakash Sawhney, PM Narendra Modi talked about leveraging AI for inclusive development, representing the country’s ‘AI for All’ strategy.
Setting the context, CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant stated the importance of artificial intelligence in our lives and how technology can impact human development. According to him, artificial intelligence has been capitalising the technological landscape pushing further the envelope of human possibility. The impact of AI is universally felt across all sectors expanding and redefining the bounds of human achievement.
“India is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the revolution with more than 600 million internet users,” said Kant. “India’s unique diversity in terms of language culture and development challenges is representative of many other countries and makes a perfect garage full of solutions which can address global challenges.”
Agreeing to this, prime minister Narendra Modi said, technology has transformed our workplaces, improved connectivity, time and again, along with helping in solving critical challenges. He believes that this merger between social responsibility and technology will enrich AI with a human touch.
He further addressed that “Artificial intelligence is a tribute to human intellectual power — the power to think enables humans to make tools and technologies.”
Enhancing AI For Human Development
Stating the developments, Modi mentioned the world’s largest unique identity system — Aadhar; world’s most innovative digital payment system — UPI that has enabled access to digital services including finances or services like the direct cash transfer to the poor and marginalised.
He even stated the situation amid pandemic, where India showcased its digital readiness to reach out to the people with health at the earliest and in the most efficient manner. Further, he spoke about India’s initiative on rapidly expanding its optical fibre network to provide every village with high-speed internet connectivity — making India “a global hub for AI.”
Talking about other developments, Modi highlighted how India would benefit from natural language processing with it’s recently adopted the National Education Policy 2020, which focuses on technology-based learning and scaling as a significant part of education. Additionally, India has also launched responsible AI for Youth Program this year April, where more than 11,000 students from schools completed the basic course, and are now building their AI projects.
Not only these initiatives will create an education unit to boost the digital interactive infrastructure, but also will help in establishing capacity virtual labs to provide hands-on experience to learners. For this “we have also launched the Atal Innovation Mission to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Modi. “And “through these steps, we aim to keep pace with emerging technology for people’s benefits.” He further mentioned the national programme on artificial intelligence, which has been dedicated towards the rightful use of AI for solving problems of society.
Challenges That Needs To Be Addressed
Along with mentioning the benefits of implementing AI, he also stated a few challenges — “can we use artificial intelligence for the optimal management of our assets and resources?” While at some places, resources are idle, there is a massive shortage of resources in other places. And that’s why it is required to dynamically re-allocate the resources to find its optimal use.
“Can we delight our citizens with practice and prompt delivery of services at the doorstep,” asked Modi. To which, he stated that considering the future belongs to the youth, it is required for us to identify the right talent and capabilities of each child. Such observation of identifying a child’s right talent will act as a guiding force for youngsters. And therefore, we need to build a system that can give an analytical report of the aptitude of each child, “which will open the door of opportunities for many youngsters.”
According to Modi, there is a significant role for AI in empowering agriculture, healthcare and education, creating next-gen urban infrastructure, and addressing urban issues like reducing traffic jams, improving sewage systems as well as climate change to name a few. Alongside it will also be helpful to bridge the language barrier that our country faces on a daily basis, and provide ways for knowledge sharing among all of us.
To conclude the summit, Modi stated that it is our collective responsibility to ensure trust in how AI is used. And the transparency in the algorithms along with accountability are the key aspects to build this trust. “We must protect the world against weaponizing AI by non-state actors,” said Modi.
Although AI is revolutionary, he further stated “While we all are talking about AI, we have no doubts that human creative and human emotions continue to be our greatest strength,” concluded Modi.
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Sejuti currently works as Senior Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine (AIM). Reach out at email@example.com