India sets up its first AI institute

19 Feb 2018

India is setting up its first artificial intelligence (AI) institute, at the Mumbai University campus, in collaboration with the US-based Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The new institute will focus on the use of AI for improving sectors such as healthcare, education, and agriculture. Speaking at the inauguration of the institute, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for all actors involved to 'identify the grand challenges that AI can solve for India' in areas such as facilitating communication across India's multiple languages and dialects, delivering quality education and bridging the gap in the teacher-student ratio, expanding the capacities of healthcare workers, and assisting farmers in their work. Modi also noted that 'the road ahead for AI depends on and will be driven by human intentions', and asked whether India 'can take the global lead on creating AI that is less about making humans redundant and more about enhancing human abilities and expanding human capacities'.​

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The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.

Historically, telecommunications, broadcasting, and other related areas were separate industry segments; they used different technologies and were governed by different regulations.


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