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          Last updated: 05 Mar, 2023  

          Rajeev.9.thmb.jpg We're building next-gen AI to become a global powerhouse: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

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          IANS | 05 Mar, 2023
          As the world goes gaga over AI chatbots, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar has a clear vision: To make India a global powerhouse of AI which does not just stop on integrating foreign chatbots but building next-generation of AI-based innovations to empower billions of citizens.

          Chandrasekhar told IANS that artificial intelligence (AI) is a "kinetic enabler" of the digital economy and the government will infuse more of this disruptive technology into its 'India Stack'.

          "AI will certainly transform the digital economy and grow the business economy in the country. We are launching a very comprehensive programme called the INDIAai Programme and you will see more AI use cases via the India stack -- Aadhaar, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), DigiLocker, CoWIN and more," Chandrasekhar emphasised.

          "AI, as I have said, is a 'kinetic enabler' of the digital economy and we want to be the global leader in AI," the Minister told IANS.

          This week, Chandrasekhar met Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and had a "good, interesting conversation about India Stack and Artificial Intelligence (AI)".

          The government, in the Union Budget for FY24, announced to open three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence (AI) at the top educational institutions, for realising the vision of "Make AI in India" and "Make AI Work for India".

          According to Chandrasekhar, the government is expanding the INDIAai initiative in partnership with homegrown tech companies, startups and academic institutions under a comprehensive AI programme.

          The Bhashini team at the IT Ministry aims to build a National Public Digital Platform for languages to develop services and products for citizens by leveraging the power of AI and other emerging technologies.

          It is creating a unifying architecture, underpinned by principles of open data and open source software, to enable contributions from the research initiatives and the ecosystem.

          Bhashini, the natural language AI platform, "will enable automated language translation", according to Chandrasekhar who had a three decades' long career in the technology domain before making his foray into politics.

          According to him, India Stack will become more nuanced, intelligent and sophisticated in its next avatar, as more and more enterprises and countries across the world innovate and integrate, execute, and implement digital transformation.

          "Our mission as a nation is to offer India Stack or the part of the stack to those enterprises and countries across the world who want to innovate and further integrate, execute, and implement digital transformation," said the Minister.

          India currently ranks first in terms of AI skill penetration and AI talent concentration and fifth in AI scientific publications, a Nasscom report said last month.

          India's 'AI Skills Penetration Factor' has been reported to be 3.09 -- the highest among all G20 and OECD countries.

          More than 1,900 AI-focused startups are providing innovative solutions in the country, primarily in the areas of conversational AI, NLP, video analytics, disease detection, fraud prevention and deep fakes detection.

          (Nishant Arora can be reached at nishant.a@ians.in)

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