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How IIT Kharagpur Is Strengthening Its AI Research With The Help Of Its Illustrious Alumni Base

How IIT Kharagpur Is Strengthening Its AI Research With The Help Of Its Illustrious Alumni Base

IIT Kharagpur may soon expand its AI research capabilities with the help of its illustrious alumni network to benefit the best from the emerging technologies.

The institute, which was founded in the year 1951, is one of the oldest and prestigious IITs in the country and has produced several meritorious alumni over the years. Sundar Pichai, the current Google CEO is one among the top name among the list of noted personalities.

Speaking to national daily about the importance of having an advanced AI centre, Indian-American entrepreneur, Vinod Gupta, an alumnus of IIT KGP said, "Some of the universities (in other countries) are investing 100, 500 million dollars in artificial intelligence. IIT can do very well in that with their research, students. They can do a lot more. The future is into AI."  

Pointing out that such investment would require a large sum and by approaching its billionaire alumni like Pichai, Gupta said that the institute can have the benefit of cutting-edge technologies like AI, "They need to scale it up much more than what they are doing now…. My suggestion was: they should go to Sundar Pichai because he is CEO of Google, he is a billionaire, he loves IIT, he is our alumni and they are the ones who are doing a lot of cutting-edge work in artificial intelligence."

AI taking precedence

The institute has been at the forefront to encompass AI and another emerging tech into its academics and already has a dedicated Centre of Excellence (CoE) for AI being established within the campus. In addition to this, last year, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Telangana government to set up its off-campus in the state.

The new research park will be established in the outskirts of Hyderabad will focus on areas like AI, cybersecurity, defence and aerospace and aims to train professionals and carry out research and industry projects. Further, with close collaboration with the Telangana government, the institute aims to take more government projects in the listed field.

In addition to CoEs, the institute has also been accommodated AI and other emerging technology related course. Among the courses offered in the field of AI, the topics include financial analytics, industrial automation, digital healthcare, intelligent transportation system among others.  

In August last year, the Institute broadened its academics to offer a unique course in law. The Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Rights (RGSOIPL) in IIT Kharagpur announced that it will offer a one-semester a one-semester interdisciplinary course titled "Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Law",  which aims to provoke a rethink on the modes of societal governance and law by AI capabilities.

The programme will focus on foundational concepts, methods and tools, and areas such as Information retrieval and web search, text and language processing, image and video analytics.

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Stating that it is the one and only IIT in the country, a press release from the institute said that almost 56 students within the college have joined for the programme.  

"This course addresses the paradigm shifts that are occurring due to the intense involvement of AI as autonomous systems that can possibly invent, participate in inventions with humans, create new expressions like music, paintings, and raising sensitive questions on inventorship, authorship, ownership of patents, copyright, designs," said Dean, RGSOIPL's Padmavati Manchikanti.

Corporate partnerships

Among the numerous corporate tie up that it has made over the years, the Institute on March 28 announced that it will be collaborating with Indian IT giant, Wipro to bolster research in the field of AI and 5G technology. The joint partnership will see Wipro deploying the outcome of the research into their working, while IIT KGP is expected to benefit from the company's high-end infrastructure and gain more research insight.

"The two organizations will focus on AI research applicable in the healthcare, education and retail sectors as well as in domains such as climate change and cybersecurity. In addition, subject matter experts from Wipro and IIT Kharagpur will promote knowledge sharing through guest lectures, workshops and seminars on 5G and AI," Wipro said in a press release.

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