[Answered]Why is artificial intelligence one of the key developments of the 21st century? Discuss government efforts regarding artificial intelligence in India and the scope of its application in the development process of the country.

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual Introduction.

Body. Discuss why AI is a key development of the 21st century. Government efforts regarding artificial intelligence in India. Scope of its application in the Indian development process.

Conclusion. Way forward.

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines. These are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. Artificial intelligence is a 21st century technology that is transforming every walk of life. It enables people to integrate information, analyse data, and use the AI insights to improve decision making. AI is already altering the world and is used in various fields of the economy and governance.

Why AI is the key development of the 21st century?

  1. Economic development: One of the reasons for the growing role of AI is the tremendous opportunities for economic development. A project undertaken by PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimated that artificial intelligence technologies could increase global GDP by $15.7 trillion (14%) by 2030.
  2. Financial sector transformation: AI is being used effectively in the financial sector especially in the stock market.
  • In stock exchanges, high-frequency trading by machines has replaced much of human decision making. People submit buy and sell orders, and computers match them in the blink of an eye without human intervention.
  • Fraud detection represents another way AI is helpful in financial systems. In the banking sector, decisions about loans are now being made by software that can take into account a variety of data about a borrower. HDFC Bank has developed an AI-based chatbot called EVA (Electronic Virtual Assistant).
  1. Agriculture: World will need to produce 50% more food by 2050 due to increasing population and climate change. AI can help farmers get more from the land while using resources more sustainably. Berlin-based agricultural tech start-up called PEAT has developed an application that identifies potential defects and nutrient deficiencies in the soil through images.
  2. Healthcare: A lot of organisations and medical care centres are relying on AI to save lives. An organization called Cambio HealthCare developed a clinical decision support system for stroke prevention that can give the physician a warning when there’s a patient at risk of having a heat stroke.
  3. Space Exploration: Space expeditions and discoveries always require analysing vast amounts of data. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is the best way to handle and process data on this scale. Artificial intelligence is being used by NASA for next rover mission to Mars, the Mars 2020 Rover.
  4. Social Media: In social media platforms like Facebook, AI is used for face verification wherein machine learning and deep learning concepts are used to detect facial features and tag friends. Machine learning algorithms are used to design an individual’s feed based on his interests.
  5. Transportation: Transportation represents an area where AI and machine learning are producing major innovations. Autonomous vehicles and drone delivery systems use AI. AI is being used to analyse information in real time and the use of high-performance computing and deep learning systems to adapt to new circumstances through detailed maps.

Government efforts regarding artificial intelligence in India:

  1. National Programme on Artificial Intelligence: It was announced in Interim Budget 2019. The programme would be catalysed by the establishment of the National Centre on Artificial Intelligence as a hub along with 6 centres of excellence.
  2. NITI Aayog’s paper on national strategy for AI: Budget 2018 mandated the NITI Aayog to establish the national programme on AI to guide research and development in new and emerging technologies. NITI’s discussion paper ‘National strategy on Artificial Intelligence‘ identified 5 sectors for AI application to serve societal needs- Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, Smart cities and infrastructure and Smart mobility and transportation.
  3. Task Force on Artificial Intelligence: A Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for India’s Economic Transformation was constituted. The Task Force has recommended an Inter-Ministerial National Artificial Intelligence Mission to act as a nodal agency for coordinating AI related activities in India.
  4. National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS): It is a programme led by the Union Ministry of Science & Technology & Earth Science to enhance capabilities of cyber-physical system. Budget 2019 allotted Rs. 5 crore for the mission.
  5. Various Committees: In order to create a policy framework and to develop the ecosystem for Artificial Intelligence, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, has constituted 4 committees covering all the aspects of AI. These Committees are:
  • Committee on platforms and data for AI.
  • Committee on leveraging AI for identifying National Missions in key sectors.
  • Committee on mapping technological capabilities, key policy enablers, skilling, re-skilling and R&D.
  • Committee on cybersecurity, safety, legal and ethical issues.

Scope of its application in the Indian development process:

  1. Economic: AI can boost India’s economic development by increasing efficiency in various industrial sectors. NITI Aayog estimates that adopting AI means a 15% boost for the gross value added (GVA) for the economy by 2035. According to a Accenture report, AI has the potential to add $957 billion to India’s economy in 2035.
  2. Education and Skilling: AI can play a major role in the Indian education sector by providing solutions for quality and access issues. It can help in better learning experience through personalised learning and predicting the need for student intervention to reduce dropouts or recommend vocational training.
  3. Smart Cities: Incorporation of applied AI in developing cities could also help in meeting the demands of a rapidly growing population and providing them with enhanced quality of life. Traffic control for reducing congestion enhanced security by providing improved crowd management are some of the potential uses of AI systems.
  4. Agriculture: Indian agriculture is dependent on the monsoon system. AI can help prediction of monsoon behaviour and impact of climate change on monsoon. It can contribute towards enhancing farmers’ income, increase farm productivity and reduce wastage. It will help in better weather prediction and thus a climate adjusted agriculture can be adopted.
  5. Criminal justice: By analysing big data of road safety data and NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau) data for crimes, new policies can be formulated. In the counterinsurgency and patrolling operations, loss of CRPF jawans which can be minimised by using the robotic army and lesser human personnel. Further it would help in reducing judicial delays and burden by effectively dissemination of similar cases bunched together.

Artificial intelligence has a lot of potential in the 21st century, especially for India. Nearly 200 Artificial Intelligence start-ups in India are today innovating and creating AI-based solutions for various industries. It can complement Digital India Mission by helping in the big data analysis which is not possible without using AI. ‘Make in India’ programme can be strengthened and help India in becoming a major manufacturing hub with AI-assisted technology.

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