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Approach:

  1. Introduction on AI.
  2. Mention the current status of AI in India.
  3. Point out the associated challenges.
  4. Delineate the steps taken by the government.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a computer-controlled software designed to perform human-like tasks (cognitive tasks). The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy.

There are two subsets under the umbrella term AI: Machine learning and Deep learning. Machine Learning involves the use of algorithms to parse data and learn from it. Deep learning is a technique for implementing Machine Learning. The scope of AI includes a range of activities from agriculture, healthcare, education, urban planning, energy, etc.

Present status of AI in India: India was ranked 8th in the top 10 countries. AI-related patent applications grew ten-fold from 2012 to 2018. India has over 1,300 Global Capability Centres (GCCs) and one in every five GCCs use AI across key business functions. The Government expenditure on AI and Machine Learning has also steadily increased and is expected to reach USD 11,781.9 million in 2025. According to the State of Artificial Intelligence Report, 2021, the Indian Artificial Intelligence market is valued at US$ 7.8 billion as of July – August 2021. There has been a 20% jump in AI personnel from last year.

According to NITI Aayog, Al has the potential to add US$ 1 trillion to the Indian economy by 2035.

Associated challenges:

  • A proper AI-based system requires a massive computational capacity, meaning that more data centres need to be created that requires huge investment.
  • AI willincrease digital exclusion in all spheres. Further, global Investments are also likely to shift to countries where AI is already established. It can affect racial and gender stereotypes and thus lead to exclusionary decisions.
  • There are fears that AI will result inless demand for human resources. It may not augur well for India, given its high unemployment amidst growing demographic dividend.
  • The most important concern with AI is the concern ofdata privacy. The AI algorithm will improve only with more data access. Scandals like Cambridge Analytica are an example of such a violation of privacy.

Steps taken by Government:

National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence: It was released by NITI Aayog in 2018, which lays out the roadmap to leverage the technologies to ensure inclusive social development. It identifies 5 sectors for AI application to serve societal needs: Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, Smart cities and infrastructure and Smart mobility and transportation.

Responsible Al Approach Documents: It was published by NITI Aayog in collaboration with the World Economic Forum Centre for the Al Industrial Revolution. The documents seek to establish broad ethics and principles for the design, development, and deployment of Al in India.

Draft framework on the India Artificial Intelligence Stack: It has been released by the Department of Telecommunications, focused on eliminating barriers to AI deployment. It aims an enabling environment to exploit AI productively across all sectors and bring interoperability.

Incorporation of AI into governance: Telangana is using Al to authenticate pensioners and prevent forgery. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is using Al to simplify corporate filings, while the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) has been built as a special hub for AI-related work of the DRDO.

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