Artificial Intelligence is transforming the technological landscape all over the world. In India, it holds significant potential. With the nation striving to become a US$ 5 trillion economy in the coming years, AI could perhaps be the next generation technology tool to achieve this target.
Webinar on AI with academicians, policy experts and thought leaders
July 17, 2020
We hosted a virtual webinar on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enable knowledge exchange, dissemination of state-of-the-art research in AI and strengthen academia-industry collaborative efforts in this field. The workshop, titled Enabling a Robust AI-driven Ecosystem in India, was structured to foster discussions on six primary sub-themes, namely, Core AI, AI in the education sector, in healthcare, for supply-chain management, as a social good and its policy dimensions in the context of India. It featured well-known academicians, policy experts, thought leaders from the industry and practitioners who spoke about their insights and experiences in the field ranging from academic learnings to practical applications and policy implications of AI.
AI offers tremendous scope for growth and development in the economy. The talks by the eminent speakers reinforced the potential of AI in problem-solving, skills development, higher education and advanced research, innovation, employment generation and in the development of sustainable supply-chain solutions, The conceptual facets of the talks were centered around building an understanding for: fundamental gaps in the current state of AI vs natural intelligence (especially in the pandemic times) and bridging them; AI’s contribution in transforming the education landscape; automatic essay grading and multiple strategies for solving the task including classical classification, deep learning and sophisticated features like reader gaze behaviour and the use of embedded knowledge graphs in intelligent decision making.
Among other things, the practical application of AI involves the need for addressing the ethical concerns in demand infusing sectors like healthcare-driven AI applications; robustness issues in building dependable machine learning and computer vision systems; ensuring a robust AI-driven supply chain ecosystem which can be used to generate insights into consumer behaviour, public procurement, product and services design, demand estimations, warehousing, logistics and returns management; creating suitable forecasting mechanisms with the help of AI against unforeseen events implementing well-thought-through strategies and proactive policies to accelerate AI-oriented positive social impact and development through collaborative efforts and learnings of global best practices. After-all, a vibrant AI ecosystem rests on a robust policy framework backed up with improved education and research in the field, academia-industry collaborations, a sustainable balancing of start-ups, SMEs and large industries and a thriving culture of innovation.
Complete Videos of each session are also provided below
Release of Collection of Policy Briefs on AI
May 05, 2021
Release of ‘A Collection of Policy Briefs on AI’ | May 5, 2021(from top-left): Prof. L.S.Shashidhara, Professor, Dean (Research) and Head of Science Policy Initiative, Ashoka University, Prof. Subhashis Banerjee, Professor and Head, Department of Computer Science, Ashoka University, Prof. Samir K. Srivastava, Professor & Dean, Research, IIM (Lucknow), Prof. Malabika Sarkar, Vice Chancellor, Ashoka University, Prof. Sudeshna Sarkar, Professor of CSE and Head of CoE in AI, IIT (Kharagpur), Prof. Avik Sarkar, Visiting Professor, ISB (Chandigarh), Dr. Anjali Taneja, Associate Director, Science Policy Initiative, Ashoka University and Dr. Alpan Raval, Chief Scientist, Wadhwani Institute for AI.
Susbsequent to the virtual webinar in 2020, we have put together a collection of policy briefs on AI, in consultation and with the help of inputs received from some of the participating experts. This Collection was released by the Vice Chancellor of Ashoka University, Prof. Malabika Sarkar in May 2021. The contributing experts who are the co-authors of this Collection, namely, Dr. Alpan Raval, Head, Data Science, Wadhwani Institute for AI; Dr. Avik Sarkar, Visiting Professor, ISB; Dr. Sudeshna Sarkar, Professor, CSE & Head of Centre of Excellence in AI, IIT Kharagpur and Dr. Samir K Srivastava, Professor & Dean, Research, IIM Lucknow, were also present to share their thoughts and insights.
Some of the notable thoughts and insights about AI that were discussed during the release were –
- One of the biggest advantages of AI is that it can solve the problem of scale. It can help in analysing large data sets more efficiently than human beings. For instance, AI can be used in analysing census, electoral data at the national level. In such pandemic times especially, AI can help in the better understanding of the pandemic and make effective strategies to combat its impact. For example, its deployment can help in processing or managing the supply-chain of essential commodities like oxygen, covid testing kits etc across the country.
- Therefore, ‘democratisation of AI’ in an emerging economy like India is very important so that it can be used as a means to transform the lives of its population, especially the economically weaker section of the society.
- Although AI offers tremendous scope for growth and development in the economy there is still a sense of fear and scepticism among people related to the accountability and security threat posed by machines. Thus, it is equally important to focus on building a responsible AI. In other words, AI should complement the efforts of human beings and not replace them.
- AI is like a ‘black box’ where human beings can give instructions to the machine but might not be completely aware of its output. Thus, there it is essential for the social scientists, legal experts and pure science experts to collaborate to use AI for social good. Moreover, there is also a need to combine the aspects of liberal and technical education for ensuring the effective use of AI for all.
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