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AI, Blockchain to change the nature of jobs: Indian PM

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said artificial intelligence, machine learning, Blockchain, and big data, has the potential to increase the country’s rate of development and improve its citizen’s quality of life.

At the launch of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Prime Minister Modi addressed concerns about a decline in employment opportunities as a result of new up-coming technologies.

He said that new technologies like machine learning, AI, Internet of Things (IoTs), Blockchain and big data among others, will not replace existing jobs but rather change the nature of employment and help generate more opportunities in the country.

The Centre is the fourth chain after San Francisco, Tokyo, and Beijing. It will be located in Maharashtra. According to the official WEF website, the organisation works with governments, companies, and professionals across the world to co-design innovative approaches to policy and governance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In India, the centre’s first three project areas area drones, Blockchain and AI. The Policy Commission, that is the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), will organise and manage the partnerships on behalf of the Government.

The objective of the centre is to create a space for industry leaders and the governments to collaboratively develop and pilot emerging technology policies.

“Some people are worried that the advancement of technology will have a negative impact on jobs, but the reality is otherwise. Industry 4.0 will touch those aspects which still remain untouched so far. It will change the nature of the job and create new opportunities,” Prime Minister Modi said at the WEF Centre.

He added that the government is open to policy changes to help reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution. He added that Industry 4.0 and AI development will lead to better healthcare, help farmers, benefit the agricultural sector and reduce costs.

For India, this industrial revolution is also a social one. The country’s diversity, demographic potential, fast-growing market size and digital infrastructure has the ability to make India a global hub for research and implementation, he said.

The Prime Minister’s government has initiated several programmes like Start Up India, Stand Up India, and Digital India, with the intent to kickstart the overall development of the country.

India was not independent during the first and second industrial revolutions and was struggling with the challenges of being newly independent when the third industrial revolution happened. The Prime Minister said India has a significant role in the fourth industrial revolution and will contribute greatly.

During the event, the Prime Minister said that the telephone-density, that is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area, is at 93%.

Almost 500 million Indians now have mobile phones. India is the largest mobile data consuming country in the world and has the most affordable data rates. Over the last four years, mobile data consumption has increased by thirty times.

Over 1.2 billion Indians have Aadhar, a twelve-digit unique identification number that is linked to a citizen’s basic demographic and biometric information. The government is working on a national strategy for blockchain technology and will also announce a drone policy.

The Prime Minister noted that work to connect all the 250,000 village councils with optic fibre will be completed soon. On Blockchain technology, he said that promoting minimum government and maximum governance is important. It will help in fast-tracking government services such as management of natural resources and property registration.

According to the WEF’s website, as the world’s largest democracy and the country with one of the highest number of scientists and engineers, India is a key political, social and economic player that will shape the course of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

It says India’s ability to capitalise on the emerging technologies of Industry 4.0 will be one of the leading drivers of global prosperity and peace in coming decades.

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