India’s AI Strategy: Maximize the late mover advantage

NITI Aayog has released a consultation paper on how the country can harness the power of AI and here are some key takeaways:
1. #AIforAll will aim at enhancing and empowering human capabilities to address the challenges of access,affordability, shortage and inconsistency of skilled expertise; effective implementation of AI initiatives to evolve scalable solutions for emerging economies;and endeavors to tackle some of the global challenges from AI’s perspective, be it application, research, development,technology, or responsible AI.
#AIforAll will focus on harnessing collaborations and partnerships, and aspires to ensure prosperity for all. Thus,#AIforAll means technology leadership in AI for achieving the greater good.
2. From  an  applications  perspective,  the  approach  is  to  identify  sectors  that  may  have  the  potential  of greatest externalities while adopting  AI solutions, and hence require the government to play a leading role in developing the implementation roadmap for AI.
For example, the agriculture sector in India, which forms the bedrock of India’s economy, needs multi-layered technology infusion and coordination amongst several  stakeholders.
Efforts  from  private  sector  may  neither  be  financially  optimal  nor  efficient  on  a standalone  basis,and  hence sustained  government  intervention  to  tackle  the  existing  challenges and constraintsis needed. Hence, India’s approach to implementation of AI has to be guided by optimisation of social goods, rather than maximisation of topline growth.
3. NITI Aayog has decided to focus on five sectors that are envisioned to benefit the most from AI in solving societal needs:

  • Healthcare: increased access and affordability of quality healthcare,
  • Agriculture: enhanced farmers’ income, increased farm productivity and reduction of wastage,
  • Education: improved access and quality of education,
  • Smart  Cities and Infrastructure: efficient and connectivity for the burgeoning urban population,and
  • Smart Mobility and Transportation: smarter and safer modes of transportation and better traffic and congestion problems.

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