India lags behind in AI research activities must match China in supercomputing skills: Kant

The outgoing chief executive of the government think tank Niti Aayog, Amitabh Kant, said on Tuesday that the country lags behind in artificial intelligence research activities and also needs to raise its supercomputing capabilities to the level of those possessed by China. .

Speaking virtually at an Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) event, Kant said that Niti Aayog released a strategic document on AI in 2018 itself, making India one of the first countries to consider using emerging technologies for social good.

However, some challenges mentioned in the AI ​​document remain relevant, he said.

“We are lagging behind in terms of basic and applied research,” Kant said, adding that when it comes to high-quality research, India still lags behind the United States and China and will have to make efforts to catch up. its delay.

“Our supercomputing capabilities must be put in the same league as China,” said the career bureaucrat, who will retire from the think tank after serving more than six years at the helm.

On supercomputing, he said the latest supercomputer was installed at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru earlier this year.

As the country moves forward with the use of AI for various use cases, we will need to pay attention to critical areas like privacy and ethics, Kant said.

Pushing for the adoption of AI across all sectors, Kant said the 2018 Niti Aayog paper named agriculture, smart mobility and healthcare among areas where AI can benefit.

He said all stakeholders need to come together to develop technologies, but ultimately market dynamics will decide which ones become popular.

Hailing the progress made so far in the private sector, Kant said he was happy to see that AI is no longer a fringe technology.

India will also need to pay attention to human capital as it moves forward in AI research and adoption, Kant said, adding that efforts should include training for students as well as reskilling efforts for professionals. .

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