Infrastructure News

The rise of India’s first AI city!, Infra News, ET Infra

In Chandrayaan landing, precisely executed maneuvers made use of artificial intelligence in key operations like guidance and control.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer a buzzword but a priority for governments and businesses across the globe, such is the expectation from this transformative technology. It is expected to contribute US$15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

To put that into perspective, it is almost 5 times the current output of India or almost equal to the output of the top 3 economies of the world combined. In the short term, it is expected to add around US$500 to India’s GDP by 2025.

This kind of impact is the primary reason why every policymaker, organization and individual is taking notice and several cities are gearing up for the AI revolution, racing each other to the title of the AI Hub of India. Lucknow, the city of dreams, is a surprising but worthy contender. The city of tehzeeb and culture, nazakat and nafasat is transforming into an “AI City” and the hub of innovation rapidly and everyone is taking notice. If Uttar Pradesh is to become the growth engine of India’s Digital transformation, Lucknow will have to be at the core, propelling UP and India forward.

Ubiquitous AI is here; there and everywhere and it is here to stay
AI is happening, irrespective of how we feel about it. In the last 6 months, Deloitte rolled out a global AI market incubator, Nvidia is working on AI/ML platform to enhance cancer detection, Google launched the Math tutor, Chinese tech giant Alibaba launches upgraded AI model to challenge Microsoft & Amazon, and Glance LockSceen which is an AI Powered lock screen and software made in India has already crossed 400m devices. At the time of writing this article, Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence firm, xAI, is launching its proprietary AI programme, albeit with limited capacity.

AI is already making complex problems and processes easier and more efficient. In Chandrayaan landing, precisely executed maneuvers made use of artificial intelligence in key operations like guidance and control. The progress AI has made in the last two years alone almost guarantees that we will never have to face Covid-like situation ever again, where nobody could predict it, model it or figure out its progression. Entire nations are using AI to shore up their defensive and offensive capabilities and India simply cannot lag behind.

Addressing ethical concerns in AI
As with any new innovation, there have been concerns about the unchecked proliferation of AI, and rightly so. Unchecked, AI could further the urban and rural digital divide, it could be used to push disinformation and steal intellectual property, among countless other things. All these reasons can be clubbed into a new SUBI AIR framework against which AI can be scrutinised. AI-R or simply AIR – acceptance, innovation and responsible use. This framework essentially and effectively tests the viability of AI development and deployment and provides a necessary starting point for innovation.

  • Acceptance and user adoption – When people believe that technology is developed and used responsibly, they are more likely to adopt and use it, which drives the adoption. At a wider level, a common ethical framework can facilitate collaboration and coordination among different countries towards an international
  • Innovation and creativity – Ethical constraints often drive innovators to find new ways of achieving their goals that align with societal values and norms.New ways of thinking lead to more innovation
  • Responsible use and mitigation of negative externalities – Technology can have unintended impacts on society, and ethical foresight can help anticipate and address these issues for example widening the digital divide vs bridging it.

Beyond Regulation – A partnership model for AI development

The complexity of the innovation and its implications, coupled with the global impact of AI technologies call for a collective approach. Ethical considerations cannot be confined to individual organizations; they must be embraced across the industry to maintain public trust and prevent potential harms. Similarly, regulating a technology that is constantly evolving and leading to newer and more complex forms of the tech, is not a simple job. It will require a streamlined approach and proper execution to see it done.

<p>AI is happening, irrespective of how we feel about it.</p>
AI is happening, irrespective of how we feel about it.

Firstly, any innovation and its deployment needs a vision plan. Once the goals are clear, it is easier to establish the rules and the boundaries within which the innovation and its deployment can take place. This leads to policy predictability, which is essential for businesses and investors.

Second, multi-stakeholder approach to policy making is essential for any evolving technology sector or segment as the boundaries can keep shifting. People from the industry, academia and the government need to work together on establishing the boundaries and shifting them as and when needed. Regulatory sandboxes are urgently required to test the tech and its impact without discouraging innovators and investors through strict regulation.

Third, an incentivized ecosystem that promotes research, investments, deployment and adoption is required to be able to leverage the full potential of AI. This will mean light-touch regulation (even if for a few years), economic incentives for R&D, innovation zones and hubs, capacity building across industry and governments, and behavior change campaigns aimed at educating the people regarding the use of AI and inculcating a scientific temper across the state and nation.

Lucknow, as India’s first AI city, is poised to lead the AI revolution in UP and in India. The city of dreams and culture is ready to be transformed into the city of innovation and the intellectual capital of the country. The stars have aligned and things are taking shape at breakneck speed. With over 70 incubators, rapid connectivity, a cluster based approach which brings together academia, media, civil society, intergovernmental organisations, government can truly power a transformative AI which build on culture, creativity, content and compute power that UP and Lucknow in particular is poised to bring for the absolute last mile upholding the principles of Antodaya.

  • Published On Nov 6, 2023 at 08:22 AM IST

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