Today’s discussion will be on India’s AI readiness.Reading the title, one may think it’s pretty much straightforward but in the reality is there are many aspects that need to be looked into before coming up with an answer.For now, let’s start with a glimpse of India.
Alright, while I was doing my research on this topic, I read many articles but then realised that why not check if the present government has done anything in this regard.
To my surprise, I found that NITI Aayog, which happens to be government’s think tank, had come up with a discussion paper titled “National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence” way back in June 2018. You can download a copy of the same from here. Please note it’s still a draft paper and NITI Aayog had invited comments from stakeholders on this discussion paper by August 10, 2020.It’s still in discussion stages.
They also came up with a website India AI which will act like a central hub for everything AI in India and beyond.It’s a joint initiative of MeitY, NeGD and NASSCOM, the website aims to be the trusted content powerhouse in the backdrop of India’s journey to global prominence in Artificial Intelligence.
They have designed this site keeping all the stakeholders in mind.The website is quite informative providing links to all the articles, research, datasets and most importantly, the AI standards.
It also has a section dedicated to the initiatives being taken up in the field of AI by the Indian government.The key sectors in focus seem to be Healthcare, Education and Fintech. However, in the draft presented in 2018, there was mention of two more sectors namely Smart Cities and Smart Mobility.
India is estimated to clock $400–500 billion worth of AI capabilities by 2024 or 4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) will be contributed through the AI-enabled internet of things (IoT), chip design and software.
Now let’s look at the AI readiness of various countries.For this, an index has been designed taking 33 indicators across 10 dimensions to give a broader and deeper picture.
To build this index, 3 approaches have been considered a) willingness of the government to adopt AI and able to adapt and innovate, b) a good supply of AI tools from the technology sector and c) existence of high quality and representative data and appropriate infrastructure to develop AI algorithms.
In order to make the report more comprehensive, the world has been divided into 9 regions North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.
To add flavour, the report has profiled 2 to 3 countries from each region that are either established regional leaders or ‘rising stars’ in the field of AI readiness and summarised their important features, policies and initiatives.
Here are the key takeaways as per the data on the government’s website.
- The US, which is known for its cutting-edge technology, has retained the top spot. A few Western European nations have also managed to score highly across all the three pillars of index i.e., government, technology sector and data and infrastructure.
- The curious case of China, which has a marked difference when it comes to the index ranking and actual implementation, reveals that the government is pushing implementation of AI more than the others.
- The low-scoring regions is an indication of growing inequality where Global South is significantly lagging behind Global North. This inequality could establish economic inequality which might directly affect the quality of public services provided.
- There have been examples of growing international collaborations leaders in AI implementation are guiding followers the responsible development and use of AI.
Now let me add another dimension to it : Research.
So, given below are the top 20 universities of the world leading the AI research in 2020. India is nowhere in the top 20.
Also, the top 20 organisations leading in AI research.Please take a look at the snapshot below.Here too, no luck.
But let me end this on a positive note.
India is definitely in the AI race given the large population(more population means more data)/talent pool this nation has and not to forget our ability to make a mark in the world when we talk of IT sector.We always lead from the front and the coming decade would be no different.Hope this article gave you a fair idea in terms of India’s AI readiness.Peace.