MeitY seeks Cabinet approval for policy on AI

NEW DELHI: The IT ministry is looking to use artificial intelligence for addressing problems such as language barrier that are faced by Indians in communication and expects to get Cabinet approval in a month to launch programmes based on the next generation technology, senior government officials said on Saturday. Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that India is organising a conference on AI, RAISE 2020, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening. National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and MyGov CEO Abhishek Singh said that the Meity will soon approach the Cabinet for a policy to launch AI-based programmes. Kant said that details of the proposal cannot be discussed now but he expects the policy to be in place within sixty days. “It will not be appropriate to talk at length at this stage because it is going to the Cabinet but hopefully we should have approval within a month or so. We have already got approval of the expenditure finance committee and ministry of information technology (Meity) will drive the proposal. Give us another 60 days,” Kant said. Meity Secretary Ajay Sawhney said that the AI will bring tremendous opportunity for India if the talent pool that the country has is used to solve various problems by using the technology. He said that there are 22 regional languages and people who know only a particular language are unable to communicate with others. “This is one of the many other problems that artificial intelligence can address,” Sawhney said. Singh said that AI will be used for natural language processing which can end the problem of communication by ending the language barrier. AI has the potential to raise India’s annual growth rate by 1.3 percentage points and add USD 957 billion to India’s economy by 2035, as per the studies done by Accenture. According to official data, more than 38,700 stakeholders from academia, the research industry and government representatives from 125 countries have registered to participate in RAISE 2020. “We look at artificial intelligence not from the viewpoint of driverless cars but from solving problems of people and how we can socially empower them through AI. We will make AI a moment in India,” Kant said. National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (NSAI) highlighted the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in boosting India’s annual growth rate by 1.3 percentage points by 2035 and identified priority sectors for the deployment of AI with government’s support.
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