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COURSE TOPIC THE HINDU EDITORIAL TIMES 12 - JUNE - 2018
TITLE Al GARAGE?
HEADLINE To realise India's potential in the field,a strong buy-in from policymakers is needed
Al GARAGE? The NITI Aayog has published an ambitious discussion paper on kickstarting the artificial intelligence (Al) ecosystem in India. Al is the use of computers to mimic human cognitive processes for decision-making The paper talks of powering five sectors-agriculture, education, health care, smart cities/infrastructure and transport- with Al. It highlights the potential for India to become an Al 'garage, or solutions provider, for 40% of the world.
AI GARAGE? To pull this off, India would have to develop Al tools for a range of applications: reading cancer pathology reports, rerouting traffic in smart cities, telling farmers where to store their produce, and picking students at high risk of dropping out from school, among them. The NITI Aayog does not talk about how India's ambitions will be funded, but proposes an institutional structure to get things going. This structure includes a network of basic and applied research institutions, and a CERN-like multinational laboratory that would focus on global Al challenges.
AI GARAGE? These are lofty goals, but they beg the question: can India bring it to pass? In answer, the NITI Aayog offers a sombre note of caution. India hardly has any Al expertise today. The paper estimates that it has around 50 top-notch Al researchers, concentrated in elite institutions like the IITs. Further, only around 4% of Indian Al professionals are trained in emerging technologies such as deep learning. . Among successes, a recent study found that a Google neural network correctly identified cancerous skin lesions more often than expert dermatologists did. India, with its acute shortage of specialist doctors in rural areas, could benefit greatly from such a tool. On the other hand, studies have found that Al image-recognition technologies do badly at identifying some races, because the data used to train them over-represent other races.
TITLE INDIA RE-DEFINES ITS REGIONAL ROLE
HEADLINE It is recasting its approach to the Indo- Pacific and building deeper links with continental Eurasia
INDIA RE-DEFINES ITS REGIONAL ROLE o Recent foreign policy moves by New Delh indicate an inflexion point. Not only has it recast its approach to the maritime Indo-Pacific but as the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit exemplifies, it is also building deeper and more constructive links with continental Eurasia Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June I was dominated by four themes that collectively tell us about the evolving foreign policy
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