India a key player in responsible AI revolution, skilling way to go: IBM’s Sandip Patel

February 18, 2024
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India has a significant stake in the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution and the best part is that the government is very open to partnering with the industry,

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) India has a significant stake in the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution and the best part is that the government is very open to partnering with the industry, not only for the advancement of AI technology in a responsible manner but also how skills can be scaled up in this space, Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia, said on Sunday.

Speaking to IANS, Patel said that to be ‘Atmanirbhar’ with AI, India must quickly establish itself as one of the hubs for AI adoption and innovation in the world.

“While progress is being made, there is scope to accelerate India’s AI story by connecting the dots between different domains — policy making, investments that are going into AI, skilling and R&D,” said Patel.

“R&D will be very necessary. And we have to do all of this responsibly,” he added.

At the New Delhi declaration of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) last December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that the government’s endeavour is to take full advantage of the capabilities of AI for social development and inclusive growth.

“India is also fully committed to the responsible and ethical use of AI. We have started the ‘National Programme on Artificial Intelligence’. We are also going to launch an AI mission in Bharat,” PM Modi had told the gathering.

The goal of this mission is to establish adequate capacity of AI compute power in ‘Bharat’. Under this mission, AI applications will be promoted in sectors like agriculture, health care and education.

Patel said that the government plans to establish the centre of excellence (CoEs) in the AI space across different domains.

“The government is also serious about driving practical applications of this technology so it doesn’t just become experimentation or a sandbox kind of an activity,” he told IANS.

New research commissioned by the company has found that about 59 per cent of enterprise-scale organisations in India have AI actively in use in their businesses.

The ‘IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2023’ found early adopters are leading the way, with 74 per cent of those Indian enterprises already working with AI, having accelerated their investments in AI in the past 24 months in areas like R&D and workforce re-skilling.

According to a recent Nasscom study, AI and automation have the potential to add up to $500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025.

Patel said that AI is one of the key drivers for growth globally, but clearly a very key driver for India’s ‘techade’.

“We believe that India has a significant stake in the AI revolution. There has been an explosion and advancements across the field of AI in India. However, there are still ongoing challenges for AI adoption in enterprises, including hiring employees with the right skill-sets. There are ethical concerns and issues around data complexity, etc.,” Patel told IANS.

He said that we have to accept that the next set of innovations in generative AI will be led by enterprise use cases that are adopted and then scaled effectively.

Last year, IBM signed three MoUs with the IT ministry, one of them being around the proliferation of AI. IBM has made a commitment to skill 30 million people worldwide by 2030, and train two million learners globally in AI by the end of 2026.

“India must adopt responsible AI which is only possible when it’s powered by proper governance. With the government’s efforts supported by industry, if we do it right, India can actually set the standard for precision regulation that boosts AI innovation not only here but also around the world,” the IBM India executive stressed.

(Nishant Arora can be reached at [email protected])

–IANS

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