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E-education platforms & Generative AI

Published: 15th Jun, 2023

Context

India’s SWAYAM has yet to define its approach to AI; however, the SWAYAM-user community will drastically scale up by 2025, when India’s active Internet users become 900 million.

  • So, Let us look at India’s public sector approach towards Artificial Intelligence (AI).

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

  • The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy.
  • AI is a way of making a computer, a computer-controlled robot, or software perform humanlike tasks.
  • Features:
    • It refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem-solving and decision making.
    • It describes the action of machines accomplishing tasks that have historically required human intelligence.
    • It includes technologies like machine learning, pattern recognition, big data, neural networks, self-algorithms etc.
    • Generative AI enables users to quickly generate new content based on a variety of inputs. Inputs and outputs to these models can include text, images, sounds, animation, 3D models, or other types of data.
  • There are two subsets under the umbrella term AI: Machine learning and deep learning.

Industrial Revolution 4.0:

  • It includes Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Blockchain AR, VR, IoT, Supercomputing, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and 3D printing.
  • IoT (Internet of Things): is defined by ICT as a dynamic global network infrastructure with self-configuring capabilities.
  • Deep Learning or Hierarchical Learning is part of machine learning methods based on learning data representations.
  • In deep learning, each level learns to transform its input data into a slightly more abstract and composite representation.
  • Applications like speech recognition, facial recognition, bioinformatics and drug discovery, financial fraud detection, AI in healthcare, etc.

India and Artificial Intelligence:

  • G20 Osaka Summit: PM underscored the significance of the Digital Economy & Artificial Intelligence. He emphasised the government's reliance on the 5 ‘I’s that stand for Inclusiveness, Indigenization, and Innovation, Investment in infrastructure & International cooperation in developing these two areas.
  • According to Global AI Report 2019, India is 9th in terms of the number of AI specialists working in the field. US, China and UK topped.
  • CBSE has AI as an elective subject for its 9th Class.
  • IIT Hyderabad is the 1st Indian Educational Institute starting B Tech in AI. It is 3rd in the World after Carnegie University and MIT.
  • IIIT Hyderabad has also introduced popular executive programmes on AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain.
  • Defence, IBM's Blue Project, many start-ups are now foraying into AI.
  • It is estimated that AI will add 957 billion $ to India’s GDP by 2035 boosting India’s annual growth by 3% points.

About SWAYAM:

  • “Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM)”,was launched on July 9, 2017 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to provide one integrated platform and portal for online courses.
  • This covers all higher education subjects and skill sector courses.
  • The objective is to ensure that every student in the country has access to the best quality higher education at the affordable cost.
  • Academicians from hundreds of institutions throughout the country are involved in developing & delivering Massive open online courses (MOOCs)through SWAYAM in almost all disciplines from senior schooling to Post Graduation.

Benefits of public-sector involvement in AI:

  • Governments can use AI to design better policies and make better decisions, improve communication and engagement with citizens and residents, and improve the speed and quality of public services.

Measures to be taken:

  • To help governments learn about and explore AI in an effective and ethical way, there is a need to keep in mind the below given points:
  • Providing support and clear direction and create space for flexibility and experimentation
  • Determine whether AI is the best solution for a given problem
  • Providing for multi-disciplinary, diverse, and inclusive perspectives
  • Developing a trustworthy, fair, and accountable approach to using AI
  • Securing ethical collection of, access to, and use of quality data
  • Ensure government organisations have access to adequate funding, capability, capacity, & infrastructure
  • Recognising the potentially significant shifts that AI might bring in the future
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