Welcome initiative on Artificial Intelligence

PM Modi, Amitabh Kant, Mukesh Ambani Inaugurates Summit

It is welcome that India is hosting a global summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and that the Prime Minister has addressed the gathering and expressed commitment at the highest level of government to wholesome development and regulation of AI. AI will fast become not just a major component of economic competitiveness but also a force multiplier in strategic capacity. It also poses serious challenges in itself and in the way it is put to use. Therefore, control and regulation of AI are global concerns of mounting importance, on which the G20 grouping of the world’s 20 largest economies have adopted guidelines and principles.

RAISE 2020 summit’s inauguration was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alongside Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog, Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Turing Award winner Prof. Raj Reddy, and Ajay Sawhney, secretary of MeitY.

After joining the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence as one of its founding members, India is playing host to the role of AI in empowering social activities and playing a deeper, more important role in socio-economic development. Among many elements, RAISE 2020 will address the role of AI in governance, promoting AI decision making to resolve human issues, adding responsibility to AI, developing the AI ecosystem, quantifying and analysing the available data for economic progress, and more.

PM Modi calls for the coming together of all corners of the Indian industry and society, in order to help create an action roadmap for the development of responsible artificial intelligence in India and across the world. Even the smartest of AI cannot solve specific, emotion-driven human problems, says PM Modi. Human resource mapping will have a long lasting impact on governments and businesses, says PM Modi. All of this can create next generation urban infrastructure and improve urban lifestyles, says PM Modi. AI can also be used in making disaster management systems stronger. Now, we want India to become a global hub for AI, says PM Modi, calling for more participation of individuals in India’s AI push. “At every step of history, India has led the world in knowledge and learning. In today’s age of IT as well, India is making outstanding contributions,” says Modi, highlighting how some of the biggest tech leaders are from India.

For India to offer something more than lip service to developing AI, the first thing to do is to put in place a robust data protection framework. Data is oxygen for AI and how data is used to train AI has implications for the data subjects whose data is utilised for the purpose and for the kind of algorithm that is produced.

Accountability is another principle — AI actors must be accountable for the proper functioning of AI. Regulation of AI and of algorithms must emerge as a robust and active field of study and practice in India.

The Prime Minister said that AI should not be weaponised in the hands of non-State actors. How to translate this fine sentiment into action is the question. The Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence excludes China, whose labs and companies operate at the cutting edge of AI. That makes global coordination to keep AI safe rather tough.

India’s application of AI will become a beacon for the world. The bill, which is to be passed by the government very soon, will promote data privacy, integrity and empowerment, among others. AI centres of excellence have been set up, and the objective is to further augment this process. India’s resource of demograhic dividend will play a key role in promoting pools of skilled professionals to take India’s AI ecosystem forward. Farmers are starting to use the e-market to sell their produce. Technology at times overwhelms us, but we welcome AI to generate development and promote equity. Prasad speaks about how digital services are transforming India’s fabric. The Direct Benefit Transfer scheme has transferred $172 billion across 70 million people in need, directly to their accounts, through digital services – says Prasad.

Prof. Raj Reddy in his keynote stated – Government, industry and academia must work together to develop AI as a cohesive industry. AI’s flexibility means that industry needs to be anchored specifically, in order to unify AI for all. Every house needs to be connected as the first pillar of AI, be trained in digital literacy. Reddy states how AI’s predictability aspect can help channelise individual attention, showcasing the power that AI has in improving productivity and offering far higher levels of efficiency.

Ambani, Reliance Industries CMD, issues a call to action to promote a digitally empowered Indian society, with AI at the centre. RAISE 2020 AI Summit raises hopes of overcoming the hardships posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. India, through AI, will become future-ready, says Ambani. When 1.3 billion Indians are digitally empowered, that will create faster growth, better standards of living and superior opportunities across society. The eventual goal is to make India develop AI, and make AI work for all Indians. Intelligent data is the digital capital said Ambani.

With 5G around the corner, India will maintain its leadership position, says Ambani. He also highlights India’s burgeoning fiber optic broadband network to spread internet at the farthest corners of the country. Ambani also talks about India’s growing data centres and Make in India programme, in India’s digital revolution.

Hybrid cloud and quantum computing will have a profound impact on every sector of the society, says IBM CEO Arvind Krishna in a crisp and strong keynote address at RAISE 2020 AI Summit. Krishna also talks about building AI models to develop skills. IBM stem for girls initiative aims to reach 200,000 students by 2022, and says this will be key to promoting AI in education as well as execution oriented problem. The biggest strength of AI is data, and here, the value comes from how you refine and apply it, says Krishna. Krishna talks about Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme, BharatNet and India’s burgeoning digital payments ecosystem. He announces an IBM AI Centre for Excellence in India, to promote the progressive industrial use of AI.

IBM combining AI and weather data, in conjunction with Karnataka govt and NITI Aayog, to improve agricultural services in the state. The AI services have been built in India, says Krishna. AI will unveil $15.7 trillion by 2030, and improve the livelihood of millions around the world. Innovation of technology, hence, is no longer attached to Moore’s Law, says Krishna.

The central theme of RAISE 2020 will be around the optimal use of Big Data in sectors such as defence, agriculture, transportation, space and others. The key will be in showcasing India as a perfect arena for promoting AI research.

AI will increase transparency and improve governance outcomes, says Kant. RAISE 2020 gets over 60,000 participants from 139 countries, making it one of the biggest AI confluences across the world.

Kant talks about how AI is impacting the progress of the world, and social empowerment is progressing by leveraging the powers of AI. He also speaks about the importance of data – highlights India’s unique diversity of language, culture and all other aspects making it the “perfect garage of development solutions”.