By Derek Waxman (Global Director, Artificial Intelligence Policy) and Ananthanarayanan Shanmugam (Director, India Government Affairs & Public Policy)
The Government of India will host a Global AI Summit, to be held in New Delhi on April 11th & 12th, 2020. This invitation-only event will convene leaders from around the world who share a common interest in utilizing the potential of AI to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. The summit will focus on setting in motion the vision laid down in India’s National AI strategy, which envisions AI at national scale to address complex, societal challenges and being a role model for the world in enabling and using data empowerment for all. The Global AI Summit will be the first such unique, major event in India organized in collaboration with the Government of India, industry, and academia, and it will bring together AI luminaries, business leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, policymakers, academic leaders, venture capital firms, and NGOs from across the globe. Intel applauds the government of India for its leadership in organizing, hosting and driving the agenda of such an important gathering of leaders from across the world, and for its vision that will help drive towards a global AI ecosystem that is “Innovative, Trusted and Inclusive”.
On December 5th, 2019, Nivruti Rai, Country Head of Intel India and Vice President, Data Center Group, visited Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. In addition to sharing Intel’s support of, and previewing, the Indian government’s plans to hold a global AI summit in the Spring of this year, she also delivered an interactive lecture to students, faculty, researchers, and administrators on technology convergence, India’s national AI strategy, the unique opportunity that India has in enabling a truly global AI ecosystem, and how public policy will play an increasingly important role in allowing that ecosystem to foster technology development, drive economic growth and solve complex societal challenges.
The lecture, in it’s entirety, can be viewed here.
A Transforming India
India is working towards becoming a Trillion-dollar digital economy by 2025. A staggering figure if you think about where India was even just a decade ago. What is driving India to this economic stratosphere and the goal of improved quality of life for its population? Some stats:
- A strong GDP growth of 6-10% over the past 20 years, making it one of the fastest growing large economies in the world
- A growing middle class that tops 300 million (nearly the size of the entire US population)
- 400 million smartphones in use
- Over 8 GB a month in average personal data consumption, which tops both China and the US
- Government Investments in large, public good platforms that encourage technology adoption and enable value add services for the general population, such as the AADHAAR (1.2 billion unique digital identities) GSTN (>12 million taxpayers) and UPI (with more than 1 billion transactions per month)
Many new digital ecosystems will be created and Nivruti stressed that it will be imperative for India to enable and incubate these ecosystems for long term sustainability and growth. She outlined three critical success factors in making this happen:
- Digital Native Innovation – India is recognized as having the #3 ranked startup ecosystem in the world
- World-Class Academics & Research – to build the information infrastructure and enable new technology solutions and platforms
- Business Model Innovations for Scale – to enable both affordability and accessibility
As India continues its transformation, it is betting big on technology led innovation to drive ease of business, governance, and improved quality of life for all of India’s citizens.
India’s National AI Strategy – #AI4ALL
India’s national AI strategy, which was released in 2018, aims to –
- Empower human capabilities to address and solve India’s most pressing societal problems in the areas of Healthcare, Education, Agriculture, Smart Cities, and Smart mobility.
- Develop a comprehensive and scalable ecosystem for AI implementation, and address universal AI challenges in the areas of application, research, development, technology, and responsible AI.
Establishing International Centers for Transformative AI (ICTAI) is an essential part of India’s national AI strategy to accelerate the development of AI technology through a focused, cross-disciplinary effort that brings together research and application and enables building foundational national platforms and ecosystems to scale AI-based services. Intel is proud to be the lead industry partner, in collaboration with NITI Aayog and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, in establishing the model ICTAI for India, an essential step towards the realization of #AI4All. ICTAI Announcement Blog.
The India AI Opportunity
At Intel, we strongly support the Indian government’s national AI strategy and focus on creating human-centric, foundational technologies, and digital infrastructure that re-imagines implementation and delivery in the 21st century. In many ways, India is providing a model for global AI public policy and we see a leadership opportunity for India in helping to democratize AI for the world.
AI needs and runs on data. It requires massive amounts of data – quality data, and diverse data. Today, much of the world’s data is held either by governments or private industry. And there are, understandably, both significant barriers and disincentives to sharing or making that data available to enable the global AI ecosystem. We need a different approach to make this vision of human-centric AI a reality.
India is in a unique position to lead this, given its AI4ALL vision, world-class technology research & academics, digital innovation focus, a record of population-scale consent-based digital platforms, and government leadership. We believe India can and should be at the forefront of fostering international collaboration and provide a framework that would support the development of a trusted and a global AI ecosystem that works towards solving critical population-scale challenges.
The importance of Policy in Enabling AI
“As innovation happens, it is important to make sure we safeguard the interests of our people.” This, Nivruti articulates, is what policy is all about. Encouraging and enabling innovation is imperative for the advancement of both India and other countries, but rules and policies are – and will – be instrumental in protecting citizens and promoting the responsible development and deployment of AI. She highlighted how India’s AI objectives, as laid out in its national strategy, are well aligned with Intel’s AI policy vision of Innovative, Trusted and Inclusive AI*. It is clear that India is a leader in AI public policy and using the guardrails of policy priorities to build and shape its AI ambitions. Intel is committed to supporting India in its AI journey and is excited to work with key stakeholders in government, academia, civil society and industry towards the realization of this AI vision.
*Intel’s AI Policy Vision: Innovative, Trusted and Inclusive AI
Innovative – Governments should commit resources to the development, adoption, and implementation of AI and foster international collaboration between industry, academia, government and civil society.
Trusted – Autonomous determinations made by algorithms may affect individuals and their private lives, but more automation should not translate to less protection. AI is powered by access to data, removing barriers to the responsible access to data, while also enhancing data protections, will help machine learning and deep learning reach their full potential.
Inclusive – Require accountability for ethical design and implementation of AI as well as a focus on developing the workforce that will develop AI, while creating the workforce that will use AI, and improving the social safety net to lessen the impact from employment disruption and displacement.
You can also listen to Nivruti’s podcast interview with Dean Judith Kelley of Duke University’s Sanders School of Public Policy, where she talks about AI, India and women in tech leadership. Nivruti Rai Policy 360 Podcast