Focus: Prelims, GS-III: Science and Technology
Why in News?
National AI Portal (INDIAai.gov.in) celebrates its second anniversary
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
- Artificial intelligence is the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans.
- AI refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision making.
- It is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computers.
- It refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision making and execute tasks in real time situations without constant supervision.
- Particular applications of AI include expert systems, speech recognition and machine vision.
Significance of Artificial Intelligence:
- NITI Aayog’s national strategy for AI envisages ‘AI for all’ for inclusive growth, and identifies healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure, and smart mobility and transportation as focus areas for AI-led solutions for social impact.
- Data and AI services are expected to help boost India’s economic growth in a big way. NASSCOM believes that data and AI will contribute $450 billion-$500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, which is around 10% of the government’s aspiration of a $5 trillion economy.
- It has the potential to overcome the physical limitations of capital and labour and open up new sources of value and growth.
- The growing AI economy is estimated to create over 20 million technical roles alone.
- AI can create not just niche solutions to specific problems that banks and other service providers are deploying, such as speeding up loan application processing or improving customer service;
- it can also provide solutions for better governance and social impact. For example, during the lockdown, the Telangana police used AI-enabled automated number plate recognition software to catch violations.
- It has the potential to drive growth by enabling
- Intelligent automation i.e., ability to automate complex physical world tasks. Innovation diffusion i.e., propelling innovations through the economy.
- Role in social development and inclusive growth: access to quality health facilities, addressing location barriers, providing real-time advisory to farmers and help in increasing productivity, building smart and efficient cities etc.
- The exponential growth of data is constantly feeding AI improvements.
- AI has varied applications in fields like Healthcare, Education, Smart Cities, Environment, Agriculture, smart Mobility etc.
Pros and Cons of AI
Benefits of AI
- Already, AI has helped increase crop yields, raised business productivity, improved access to credit and made cancer detection faster and more precise.
- It could contribute more than $15 trillion to the world economy by 2030 adding 14% to global GDP.
- A study reviewing the impact of AI on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) finds that AI may act as an enabler on 134 — or 79% — of all SDG targets.
Drawbacks of AI
- A study finds that AI can actively hinder 59 — or 35% — of SDG targets.
- AI requires massive computational capacity, which means more power-hungry data centres — and a big carbon footprint.
- AI could also compound digital exclusion.
- Robotics and AI companies are building intelligent machines that perform tasks typically carried out by low-income workers: self-service kiosks to replace cashiers, fruit-picking robots to replace field workers, etc.; but the day is not far when many desk jobs will also be edged out by AI, such as accountants, financial traders and middle managers.
- Without clear policies on reskilling workers, the promise of new opportunities will in fact create serious new inequalities.
- Investment is likely to shift to countries where AI-related work is already established widening gaps among and within countries.
About the ‘National AI Portal’
- The National AI Portal is a joint initiative by Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and NASSCOM and serves as a central hub for AI related news, learning, articles, events and activities etc., in India and beyond.
- In 2009, NeGD was created as an Independent Business Division under the Digital India Corporation (a not-for-profit company set up by MeitY).
- A not-for-profit industry association, is the apex body for the IT and IT enabled products and services sector in India.
- It serves as a central hub for Artificial Intelligence (AI) related news, learning, articles, events and activities etc., in India and beyond.