The government of India has recognized the potential of AI to boost the country’s GDP with $957 billion by 2035. With this in mind, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MeitY) is working on the national strategy on artificial intelligence.
Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said the draft cabinet note on implementation of national strategy on AI is being steered by MeitY and the same is under examination. Singh also stated that NITI Aayog had released India’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (NSAI) in June 2018. It outlined the proposed efforts in research, development, adoption and skilling in AI. The government think tank had proposed to invest Rs 7,500 crore in funding five institutes or centers for research excellence (CORE), 20 international centers for transformational AI (ICTAI) and setting up a cloud computing called AIRAWAT that can be accessed by anyone under the national strategy for AI for India.
India’s National Strategy for AI
NITI Aayog had adopted a three-pronged approach, undertaking exploratory proof-of-concept AI projects in various areas, crafting a national strategy for building a vibrant AI ecosystem in India and collaborating with various experts and stakeholders. It recognizes that AI has the potential to provide large incremental value to a wide range of sectors, adoption till date has been driven primarily from a commercial perspective. NITI Aayog identified five core areas, healthcare; education; agriculture; smart cities and infrastructure; and smart mobility and transportation where AI can be applied in India. To implement AI in these sectors, the central think tank highlighted barriers that need to be addressed in order to achieve the goals of #AIforAll. It pointed out lack of broad based expertise in research and application of AI, absence of enabling data ecosystems – access to intelligent data, high resource cost and low awareness for adoption of AI, privacy and security including a lack of formal regulations around anonymization of data and absence of collaborative approach to adoption of AI.
As technology increasingly disrupts the nature of jobs and shifts the benchmarks of technological aptitude, skilling and reskilling of workforce forms an integral part to adopting AI. For India to ride the AI innovation wave, a robust intellectual property framework is required.