The Artificial Intelligence and Human Intentions

Context

  • Recently Prime Minister has urged business leaders and technocrats to build a bridge between the artificial intelligence and human intentions and several ministries along with NITI Aayog have come up with various recommendations to enhance the use of AI.

Background

  • Earlier in the budget speech, Government has pitched for establishing various Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Artificial Intelligence in the country.
  • AI is touted to be the bedrock of Government of India’s efforts to develop nine focus sectors like Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, Smart Cities & Infrastructure, Smart Mobility & Transportation, etc. 
  • According to a Nasscom report, about 40% of India’s total workforce has to be reskilled over the next five years to cope with emerging trends such as AI, IoT, machine learning and blockchain.
What does Artificial Intelligence (AI) mean?
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. 
  • These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions) and self-correction. 
  • Particular applications of AI include expert systems, speech recognition and machine vision.
  • Artificial intelligence has made its way into a number of areas like AI in healthcare, business, education, finance, law and manufacturing.

What are some focus areas for AI Intervention in India?
  • With the upcoming initiatives in Artificial Intelligence, we can anticipate some major movements in the following sectors:
  • Agriculture: AI holds the promise of driving a food revolution and meeting the increased demand for food (global need to produce 50% more food and cater to an additional 2 billion people by 2050 as compared to today). AI can help achieve this vision by contributing to critical areas like Crop Selection and Crop Monitoring.
  • Healthcare: Application of AI in healthcare can help address issues of high barriers to access to healthcare facilities, particularly in rural areas that suffer from poor connectivity and a limited supply of healthcare professionals.
    • It can help in creating electronic health data repositories, creating a national-scale clinical decision support system and self-learning systems in digital fields like radiology, pathology, and genomics, to augment the future of healthcare.
  • Education & Skilling: AI-based teaching addresses a lot of issues faced in classrooms like
    • AI-based analytics to accurately measure outcome and thus help the Government direct its resources in an efficient manner.
    • Create dynamic courseware to enable re-skilling in specific sectors.
  • Environment: AI will add immense value in the following areas: 
    • Intelligent automation to estimate and control at source, the pollution level of smoke, effluents and solid waste released into the air, soil and water.
    • Intelligent automation to estimate and predict depletion of non-renewable natural resources, green cover and endangered species.
    • Prediction of meteorological events such as cyclones, floods and natural disasters due to climatic or other anthropogenic changes.
  • National Security: National security imperatives require that technology-based force multipliers be developed. Some areas where AI-based systems could be usefully deployed are:
    • Autonomous surveillance and combat systems
    • Adaptive communications systems
    • AI-based cyber-attack mitigation and counter-attack systems

What are some possible challenges and risks in adopting AI in India?
  • Analysing across the focus sectors, the challenges are concentrated across common themes of:
    • Lack of enabling data ecosystems.
    • Low intensity of AI research in fundamental technologies and transforming core research into market applications.
    • Inadequate availability of AI expertise, manpower and skilling opportunities.
    • High resource cost and low awareness for adopting AI in business processes.
    • Unclear privacy, security and ethical regulations.
    • Unattractive Intellectual Property regime to incentivise research and adoption of AI.
  • Risks: Jobs, Transparency, Bias and Robustness are some main factors of risks in this technology
    • Many researches are in process to understand why AI system works. Deep learning systems are a black box.
    • AI system cannot offer any explanations like humans. We do not know how to work with AI when it will go wrong.
    • AI is strained from the data given by humans. The data has human biases and because the AI system is trained on that data it further magnifies the biases.
What more needs to be done by the Government?
  • Need to focus more on initiatives like National mission on interdisciplinary cyber-physical systems, which covers various technologies like AI, mission learning, deep learning, robotics, etc. 
  • Identify academic institutions; provide fiscal support to establish COREs focusing on core technology research in AI.
  • Institute National AI Fellowships to retain outgoing PhD students and attract researchers from foreign universities with attractive incentives and challenging projects.Provide Faculty Fellowships or Chairs in academic institutes to promote research in AI.
  • Set up a task force, comprising jointly of Ministry of Corporate Affairs and DIPP, to examine and issue appropriate modifications to the IP regulatory regime pertaining to AI.
  • Incentivise creation of service sector jobs of the future such as data annotation through tax holidays or inclusion in CSR activities.
  • Establish platforms for making datasets in the area of social sector (either collected during implementation of a scheme or in normal business processes) available for open public use in a machine readable form.
  • Address and implement a data protection framework, which protects human rights and privacy without stifling innovation in India.

Way Forward

  • Need to bring the best of experts in AI and make India their chosen playground.
  • There are immense opportunities in this field but also focus on concerns like ethics, privacy, accountability and security. 
  • Government should provide infrastructure, funding and should encourage innovations and researches.

Source: The Big Picture