AI to help achieve UN sustainable development goals in India

Oct 08: The fourth day of RAISE 2020- ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020’s summit witnessed discussion on a range of themes like scaling AI research to solve big societal problems, leveraging AI to improve learning outcomes, and the overall opportunity of AI for India, among others.

In the first session of the day, Dr. Manish Gupta, Director, Google Research Lab talked about the agility of AI solutions to respond to societal needs and address them on a large scale. “AI is being used to predict weather patterns to warn people of impending floods. It is also being used for early detection of health risks like blindness, cardio vascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. The ambit of AI is large and therefore scalability of solutions is of critical importance,” he said.

In the same session, Gaurav Sharma, VP, IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software said AI’s use cases lend themselves very well to the achievement of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and that developers need to keep people and culture at the center of designing AI-based solutions to be able to move from adoption to absorption of AI. “India has a lot of offer in AI, and our country should transform into an AI-led society to position itself as a global leader in this space. AI systems need to be made safe, secure, and transparent, and must promote accountability to inspire consumer confidence.”

This session was followed by a showcase of the achievements of the Government of Telangana in developing an ecosystem for AI in the state. Over the next decade, the state government aims to make Hyderabad one of the top 25 AI innovation hubs of the world. Mr. JayeshRanjan, Principal Secretary, ITEC Department, Government of Telangana detailed the various initiatives taken by the state government to promote research in AI.

Addressing a session on the need for partnerships to make AI accessible and drive innovation, Mr. BhaskarGorti, President& Chief Digital Officer, Nokia Software,said that innovation, engagement and service to the industry should be the underlying ethos when developing AI solutions; at the same time he cautioned against the perils of AI, citing the example of social media. “Higher social media use correlates with self-reported declines in mental and physical health and life satisfaction,” Mr. Gorti said.

Mr. Balendu Sharma, Localization & Accessibility Lead, Microsoft India, also attended the session and talked about role that the government and large enterprises can play in increasing access to AI.

This session was followed by talks by Ms. Shalini Kapoor, Fellow-AI, and Director & CTO – IBM AI Apps, and Mr. Prakash Mallya, VP, Sales, Marketing and Communications Group, and MD, Intel, on the theme of using AI for learning.

“There is growing need for hyper-personalized education that dramatically improves learning outcomes. AI helps personalize education and at the same time create robust formal education frameworks that are required to fill skill gaps in individuals,” Ms. Kapoor said.

In a session on leveraging AI for learning, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF’s India Representative, talked about the impact of research in AI for children. “Children need to be at the center of the thought process behind research into AI. The impact that early interaction with AI can create in young individuals is profound and deep-rooted. Therefore, AI can be critical to building people’s cognitive abilities and addressing the needs of the labor market,” she said.

Later in the day, there were three parallel fireside chats. While Mr. Marcus Wallenberg, Swedish Banker & Industrialist and Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog discussed AI being a great economic opportunity for India; in the other chat session, Ms. Rekha Menon, Chairperson & MD, Accenture and Mr. Abhishek Singh, President & CEO, NeGD and CEO, MyGov deliberated upon the importance of building responsible AI. In the third fireside chat, Mr. Talleen Kumar, CEO, Government e-Marketplace and Mr. Saibal Chakraborty, MD & Partner, BCG, discussed the impact of AI on e-marketplaces.

RAISE 2020 is being organized between October 5 and 9. So far, more than 77,000 stakeholders from academia, the research industry and government representatives from 146 countries have registered to participate in the summit.

India is rapidly integrating artificial intelligence across sectors. India’s technological prowess and the richness of its data will help the country become the AI garage of the world, delivering cutting-edge technological solutions. The RAISE 2020 Summit (http://raise2020.indiaai.gov.in/) serves as a platform for discussion and consensus building to help create a data-rich environment, which will help develop AI for the global community.

About RAISE 2020:

RAISE 2020 is a first-of-its-kind global meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to drive India’s vision and roadmap for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment through responsible AI. Organized by Government of India along with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and NITI Aayog, the event is witnessing robust participation from global industry leaders, key opinion makers, Government representatives and academia.