NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that artificial intelligence (AI) should be used to drive in intelligent and inclusive growth across the length and breath of the country, but warned that there is a need to protect the world against “weaponization of AI by non-state actors.”
Speaking at Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (RAISE 2020) virtual summit, Modi said he envisions a big role for AI in areas such as agriculture, creating next-gen urban infrastructure while also addressing urban issues like reducing traffic jams, improving sewage systems and laying energy grids.
The summit was addressed by tech industry giants such as Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, IBM global CEO Arvind Krishna, apart from others such as IT and electronics minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
Modi said that he foresees AI playing a role in making disaster management systems stronger, and solving the problems of climate change. He suggested using AI to seamlessly bridge language barriers and preserve the diversity of languages and dialects. He also suggested using AI for knowledge sharing.
But while pitching for greater adoption of AI, the Prime Minister made clear that he sees human creativity and human emotions as “our greatest strength and our unique advantage” over machines. “We should ensure that we take care so that human intelligence is always a few steps ahead of AI.”
The Prime Minister said India needs to become a global hub for AI and hoped many more Indians would start working in the area in the times to come. The National Education Policy 2020 also focuses on technology-based learning and skilling as a major part of education, he said, adding that e-courses will also be developed in various regional languages and dialects.
Ambani said that digital growth and 4G are helping the country bring out tremendous amounts of data, which is a crucial ingredient for AI. “Data is the raw material for AI. Intelligent data is digital capital. It is a vital national resource. In the past, nations have competed on physical capital, financial capital, human capital and intellectual capital. But, in the coming decades… nations will increasingly compete on digital capital.”
He hoped that the government would introduce a sound data regulation framework to “protect this national resource” and ensure data privacy. “But this does not mean that AI will replace the human mind. It never can. It never will.”
IBM’s Krishna said that AI has the potential to not only boost economic growth but improve the livelihoods of millions around the world. “AI is slated to unlock $15.7 trillion in productivity by 2030.”
He said that IBM is creating an AI Center of Excellence in partnership with the Government E-Marketplace (GeM). “Together we will apply the power of AI and advanced analytics to improve usability and transparency and drive efficiency and cost-savings in public procurement.”
Prasad said that AI will be meaningful when it brings in a palpable difference in the lives of Indians. “We want AI to promote inclusive development.”