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IT Min restarts talks on use of AI for welfare schemes, trial run planned

For now, the ministry may use AI on a trial basis on some of the welfare and scholarship programmes that it oversees, the officials said. A national implementation plan for AI will be released after that.

Written by Aashish Aryan | New Delhi | December 21, 2020 5:07:19 am
AI for welfare schemes, IT Ministry, artificial intelligence, Information Technology, economy news, Indian express newsOver the course of this year, the ministry had also held meetings with the industry on AI use cases to figure out a proper implementation plan that may push for “judicious” use as well as be able to create jobs.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has re-started consultations with other ministries and government departments on the use of artificial intelligence (AI), especially in implementation of state-run services, senior government officials told The Indian Express.

The IT Ministry had, as recently as October, planned to seek Cabinet nod on use of AI in implementation of certain government-run programmes, but the plan was deferred after some ministries raised objections.

For now, the ministry may use AI on a trial basis on some of the welfare and scholarship programmes that it oversees, the officials said. A national implementation plan for AI will be released after that.

Over the course of this year, the ministry had also held meetings with the industry on AI use cases to figure out a proper implementation plan that may push for “judicious” use as well as be able to create jobs.

“The industry has flagged about 150 job options where AI could be used and the workforce could be put to better use. Some concerns of job losses have been highlighted and we are working to solve those,” a senior government official said.

The push for “judicious” use of AI technology has been flagged by “very senior government officials” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the same in one of his speeches earlier this year, one of the officials said.

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister had — while addressing RAISE 2020 in October, a global AI summit organised by the IT Ministry — said that that while there were very few things which were as empowering and easily accessible as AI, it was equally important that the technology be used responsibly.

“It remains our collective responsibility to ensure trust in how AI is used. Algorithm transparency is key to establishing this trust. Equally important is accountability. We must protect the world against weaponisation of AI by non-state actors,” the Prime Minister had then said.

The IT Ministry had last year in July constituted four committees on AI and its various aspects, such as buildings, models and frameworks, and use of the technology for identifying and implementing critical national missions in key sectors. Two committees had also looked at the ethical aspects around the use of AI and the various methods of re-skilling or up-skilling the workforce so as to better understand the technology.

Meetings with industry on AI use cases

# Over the course of this year, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had also held meetings with the industry on AI use cases to figure out a proper implementation plan that may push for “judicious” use as well as be able to create jobs

# According to senior government officials, the industry has flagged about 150 job options where artificial intelligence could be used and the workforce could be put to better use. Some concerns of job losses have been highlighted and we are working to solve those, officials added

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