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Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (5 October 2020)

Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (5 October 2020)

Why in News:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a mega virtual summit on Artificial Intelligence RAISE 2020- ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020’ on October 5, 2020, at 7 PM.


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.


On 15 June 2020, India joined the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) as a founding member to support responsible and human-centric development and use of artificial intelligence (AI).

With this, India has joined the league of leading nations and economies including the US, the UK, EU, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, and Singapore for launch of GPAI.

Summary of the Debate

RAISE (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment) summit 2020:

  • It is 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.
  • It is India’s first Artificial Intelligence summit to be organized by the Government in partnership with Industry & Academia.
  • It will be a showcase event over the next 5 days in which there will be more than 300 speakers across 45 sessions, who will be deliberating on various RAISE 2020 - Responsible AI for Social Empowermentways, various aspects of AI with regard to the research, with regard to the compute capability, with regard to potential of AI and with regard to how AI can be used for revolutionizing, transforming healthcare, agriculture, natural agro processing, smart mobility and learning and education.
  • The Summit will feature some of the most exciting global startups working in Artificial Intelligence related fields
  • Almost 57,000 people have registered for this event from across 139 countries so far. This is a truly global event being conducted on a virtual platform over the next 5 days.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and NITI Aayog will organize RAISE 2020.

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

  • AI is the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans.
  • It is the ability of machines accomplishing tasks that have historically required human intelligence like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision.
  • AI is a bunch of technologies that include machine learning and other technologies like natural language processing, inference algorithms, neutron networks etc.

Application of AI:

  • Healthcare: AI is being used for healthcare whether it is for detecting tuberculosis or the breast cancer screening or for diabetes retinopathy. AI can create a diagnosis system. It will be a predictive diagnosis system; it will not be as good as the human doctor sometimes. It helps to tackle the challenge of shortage of doctors in India.
  • Education: In many cities or villages, we don’t have high quality teachers and a teacher is dealing with 50 to 70 students. AI can really augment the teacher and benefit.
  • Agriculture: AI system can predict which pests are affecting the crops automatically, when to irrigate the field, which crops to sow in a certain time. It is also used for advising farmers with regard to what they should sow, when they should sow, based on integrating data of soil heath card, weather data from the IMD, (India Meteorological Department) data of past agriculture records in particular plot of land.
  • Financial Sector: It can be applied to the personal finance applications and could collect personal data and provide financial advice.
  • Smart Cities: The entire traffic management that is being done in all the smart cities is based on AI.
  • Aviation: Air lines use expert system in planes to monitor atmospheric condition & system status.
  • Cyber Security: AI can provide more teeth to cyber security and must be explored.

Limitations of AI:

  • Bias and fairness: AI are trained on data and humans have some biases, sometimes it’s in the form of racism, sometimes in form of color and also on caste discrimination. So, these biases will exist in data also, but because AI is learning from data and AI doesn’t know these biases upfront, it may amplify the biases.
  • Accountability: Who will be held accountable, the person who trained the AI system, the AI system itself, the person who bought the AI system, there are legal issues that need to be resolved.
  • Communication: AI system don’t know how to communicate with humans, when AI makes a mistake, it will be difficult to interact with AI system to explain it what is going on.
  • Overdependence: Humans tend to get addicted to these inventions which can cause a problem to future generations.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Machines cannot develop a bond with humans which is an essential attribute when comes to Team Management.
  • Job losses: There is a decrease in demand for human labour due to machines and intelligent robots taking over the jobs in the manufacturing and the services sectors.

Challenges India’s Artificial Intelligence Development is facing:

  • India is at number 5th when it comes to the number of AI jobs in any country, India is at number 5th when it comes to the number of AI companies. But when it comes to the number of researchers and the quality and quantity of research, India slipped down to 10th and 13th. India have less than 2 percent of the world’s researchers in the country according to the NITI Aayog report.
  • There are lots of people who are trained in IT and computer science but they are not being provided these AI jobs and that is because the AI training is very limited.
  • It is very difficult to hire AI researchers to trained the workforce because they are in high demands in industry in foreign countries, they are getting 10 times the salary that and it becomes a challenge to figure out how to bring these people back to country, how to give them position such that they stay in academia and train many more people who then take these jobs in the long run.
  • There is a lack of Public-private funding model in India.
  • The Indian educational system is still outdated and it is not updated to the modern technologies requirement.

Steps taken by the Government:

  • AI for youth: Recently, government did a program on responsible AI for youth in which AI related training and AI related courses were imparted to the students of government schools from across the country.
  • National Sports Education Board: In the Budget 2019-20, the government has announced setting up of a National Sports Education Board under Khelo India to prepare youth for new age skills, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Big Data, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality etc.
  • Centres of research excellence (CORE): Last year. Niti Aayog has circulated a cabinet note to provide Rs 7,500 crore for the establishment of AIRAWAT, a cloud computing platform along with research institutes. This is part of the policy think tank's proposal to create an institutional framework for artificial intelligence (AI) in the country. According to the proposal, the funding would be used to set up five institutes or centres of research excellence (CORE).
  • Task Force: A task force has been set up by the Commerce and Industry Ministry to explore the use of AI and Big Data technologies in the country.

Way Forward:

  • AI will not take away jobs, but it will require reskilling of people with regard to what kind of jobs which will be available and people will move up the ladder with AI kind of jobs.
  • The routine manual jobs which involve drudgery, those jobs will go but value-added jobs will come and in order to take complete benefit of this scenario, it is important to have an AI ready skill force.
  • The government is already working for this through the future skill program which seeks to train people who are already in the workforce.
  • With the combined effort of the Education Department Ministry, Ministry of Electronics and IT and with partnerships with our academia and industry, we will be able to have workforce which will build AI products not only for India but for the world.
  • The applications of AI are also in entertainment industry, video industry, animation films. But the endeavor for India is to take the lead worldwide for building responsible AI solutions, solutions which are ethical, which liberate the technology and whatever is available for solving real world problems and helping the people in the rural areas also.

Important points made by the Guests

Abhishek Singh, CEO, National e-Governance Division

  • The endeavor of RAISE 2020 is to bring stakeholders from academia, from industry, from startup, from government, from across the world to brainstorm and to build up a roadmap for responsible AI.
  • AI is the biggest technological disrupter in our times, it has a potential to add almost 15 trillion dollars to the world economy and almost $ 1 trillion to the Indian economy.
  • India has been in the forefront in providing AI trained skill power man personnel to the tech workforce in the world, India has a storehouse of AI led startups which are working, but we want to position India as the garage of the AI as a place where world can look for solutions related to AI and any solutions which works for health care or education or agriculture in a country like India then it will have a lot of application across the world.
  • We are positioning India as a leader in AI through this event and this would mean a lot for our AI companies, for AI startups and it will lead to creation of a lot of jobs in the days to come.
  • AI has been used for manufacturing, for finding defects in manufacturing. Now AI is being used for building learning tools.
  • There are lots of applications in healthcare, agriculture and education are there, which will directly impact people at the bottom of the pyramid. AI offers for solving social problems.

Mausam, Professor, IIT Delhi

  • AI has not been solved completely, there are a lot of challenges that we need to still resolve in order to make AI really successful in real world scenario.
  • India can do better by training a lot of people. Currently, it is said that there are 97,000 AI jobs vacant in this country.
  • NITI Aayog had a phenomena called CORE (Centres of Research Excellence), We need to create this AI CORES (Centres of Research Excellence) throughout the country so that they are in each Centre of Excellence, we have 50 to 60 researchers doing high quality AI research, training students in the process and imparting broad scale education.
  • By 2022, 7.4 crore jobs will go away, but 13.3 crores new jobs will be created. So, it is not that AI is going to take away jobs but it is going to create new jobs.

Subimal Bhattacharjee, Cyber Technology Expert

  • The National Strategy Paper had listed a few of the negative things that were associated that could be covered.
  • When you are doing a collaborating effort where you are getting 57,000 people from across the world from 139 countries that is where you are optimally trying to put everyone in the ecosystem to generate and deliver something together and that is where the approach of the government towards AI machine learning and digital technology per se in the last five-six years have been really useful.
  • There are more than 150 AI related startups in the country are working today.
  • One of the most important enabling factors is that the government is very conscious, at the policy level, there is a lot of attention to imbibe AI technologies in more areas than possible.
  • We need to spread this education ecosystem all across the country so that there is a focus on taking up and being practically doing things around the AI system.
  • Even now, the estimation of Indian AI market is nothing less than about $ 7 billion and many of the private sector tech giants are already doing various kind of collaboration.
  • There is an opportunity where jobs are also in there in this field and hence, we have to motivate and find a system where we are able to send many of the youngsters towards AI related functional work which lead to a job.


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