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Gist of Rajya Sabha TV : The Big Picture: Responsible AI for Social Empowerment

  • Published
    24th Oct, 2020

Introduction

  • This century has seen transformational growth in technology. Technology over the last few decades has been rapidly evolving changing the way we think, work and live.
  • When we talk of technology today, the focus is largely on artificial intelligence. Governments and organizations around the world are investing in and focusing heavily on AI.
  • The pandemic has led the world to focus on new solutions for several problems through AI.

EDITED EXCERPTS FROM THE DEBATE

About RAISE 2020 Summit:

  • RAISE 2020 is India’s first Artificial Intelligence summit to be organized by the Government in partnership with Industry & Academia.
  • The summit would be a global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and charter a course to use AI for social empowerment, inclusion, and transformation in key areas like Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, and Smart Mobility amongst other sectors.
  • The RAISE 2020 Summit will feature some of the most exciting global startups working in Artificial Intelligence related fields.
  • It will be a chance for startups to showcase ideas that present great potential in accelerating social transformation, inclusion, and empowerment.
  • The summit organised by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) along with NITI Aayog, is part of the NDA government’s continuing support to tech entrepreneurs and startups by providing exposure, recognition, and guidance.
  • Almost 57 thousand people have registered for this event from across 139 countries so far.

Potential of AI

  • AI has the potential to add around 15 trillion dollars to the world economy and 1 trillion dollars to the Indian economy.
  • India can build on the capability of different sectors with limited experts with the help of AI.
  • India has been in the forefront in providing AI skilled manpower to the world and is a storehouse of AI led startups.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Social Empowerment:

  • AI can be used as a first level of medication in rural areas with shortage of skilled doctors.
  • It can help in predicting healthcare problems like advent of a heart attack, diabetes, cancer, tuberculosis and save some crucial hours and death of a person.
  • AI can be used to develop smart agricultural prediction models like which pests are affecting the crops, when to irrigate the field, which crops to sow in a certain time by integrating soil health cards data, weather data from IMD, past agricultural records, etc.
  • AI can be used in the traffic management, automatic challans, CCTV surveillance, smart infrastructure models in the city.
  • AI can help in predicting a disaster (for ex. Flood warning) based on weather data, rainfall data and topography of the region. Before 48hrs warning is currently given in many states like Bihar.
  • AI can be used in the traffic management, automatic challans, CCTV surveillance, smart infrastructure models in the city.
  • Ai can be used for manufacturing, finding out defects, employed to design new models, etc. in the manufacturing industries.
  • It can be used to create new and advanced learning tools for education and research purposes and can be personalised for specific age groups, regional areas, tribal or for persons with disabilities. Recently a model has been made that can detect autism in children.

Limitations of AI

  • AI runs from data and since the data has human biases and as AI cannot differentiate the biases, therefore, the biases may get amplified by the AI system.
  • In case of a mistake, we still don’t know how to interact with the AI system to explain it what is going on.
  • The question whether AI is responsible or the person who trained AI, is yet to be answered.There is a problem of fixing accountability that who should be held responsible in case of any legal, moral or ethical issue.
  • AI systems don’t know how to communicate with humans. There is no clarity why AI makes a certain kind of decision and the AI system cannot tell the reason for mistakes done by it.

Issues/Challenges for India

  • We are 5th when it comes to AI jobs in the country.
  • We are 5th when it comes to number of AI companies in the world.
  • When is come down to number of research and number of researchers in the world, we slip down to 10th and 13th.
  • Currently there are almost 97,000 AI jobs vacant in this country. This is because the AI training is very limited in the country. This is because of the shortage in researchers and higher-level trained educators or professionals in AI, who train people in the sector.
  • AI will create many new jobs, but in the present scenario, India is not prepared to reap the fruits due to shortage of trained manpower.

Way Forward

  • NITI Aayog has a phenomenon called Centers of Research Excellence. We need to create more such AI courses throughout the country so that there are atleast 30-40 researchers doing high quality AI research and training students in the process and imparting broad scale education.
  • More collaborative effort is needed between the government and the academia and think how we can involve local entities in solving local problems through AI.
  • India and its problems are unique. Therefore, more focus must be made on developing the products indigenously keeping in mind the uniqueness of problems or challenges.
  • A whole of the government has to be in place, the research and education sector have to come into the functional and the line ministries themselves see a merit in solving this.
  • The government should try to involve other countries like the Global Partnership in AI that was organised recently and actually looking at the socio-economic dimensional issues to solve the problems.
  • The computational mindset of many of the generations in this country are really good and this skills have to be put into practice.
  • We need to have reskilling and we also need to get our children more digital ready and bridge the digital divide that is still pertaining.

Will AI take away Jobs?

  • AI will not take away jobs. What AI will do is that it will require reskilling of people with regard to which kinds of jobs are available.
  • People will move up the ladder with AI kind of jobs. Routine manual jobs which involve drudgery will go but value added jobs will come.
  • To take the complete advantage of this scenario, we need a AI ready skill force.
  • The government is working for this through its Future Skills Programme which seeks to train people who are already in the workforce by imparting them with AI skills and making them AI ready.
  • CBSE has introduced AI as a subject in class 10th and 12th which will ensure that the future generation has a firm grounding of AI and Data Science even before they go to college.
  • Further, the New Education Policy 2020 plans to introduce coding in school curriculum right from class 6th.
  • One significant step in this regard is the Responsible AI for Youth program of the govt. to impart AI skills in the students of govt. schools.
  • It has been said that repeatedly the AI is going to take away 7.4 crore jobs, but AI is also going to create 13.3 crore new jobs. So, AI is going to create a lot of new jobs.

Conclusion

  • The endeavor of India is to take the lead worldwide in building responsible AI solutions, solutions which are ethical which leverage the technology whatever is available for solving real-world problem and helping the people who are devoid of technology in true sense of the world.
  • AI has immense potential and possibilities to put in place the ecosystem both in terms of institutions as well in terms of opportunities for domestic players, the development of the country and for the society. So, the need of the hour is to move forward carefully by grabbing the possibilities, challenging the limitations and handling AI tools and solutions for the benefit of mankind.
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