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International Centre for Transformational Artificial Intelligence set up in Bengaluru

The Policy Commission of India, that is the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI- Aayog), Intel, and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) plan to collaborate to establish a Model International Centre for Transformational Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI) in Bengaluru. The centre will develop and implement AI-led application-based research projects.

Over the last few years, the Government has become more aware of the potential of AI and has set up a number of committees to study the implications of AI technologies in the country.

The initiative is part of NITI Aayog’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence discussion paper. It highlights the need to establish an ICTAI in the country by collaborating with the private sector.

The paper said that India, being the fastest growing economy with the second largest population in the world, has a significant stake in the AI revolution. Acknowledging AI’s potential to transform economies and the need for India to study its approach, the NITI Aayog is going to establish a National Program on AI, to guide the research and development of new and emerging technologies.

A press statement released by the Policy Commission said that the will conduct advanced research to develop AI-led solutions.

It will experiment with, discover and establish the most efficient practices in the domains of ICTAI governance, fundamental research, physical infrastructure, computing and service infrastructure needs, and talent acquisition.

Through this collaboration, the model ICTAI is expected to develop AI foundational frameworks, tools and assets, including curated datasets and unique AI algorithms. It will develop standards and support policy development related to information technology such as data storage, information security, privacy, and ethics for data capture and use.

The centre also plans to create AI foundational technologies to promote applied research that can scale for national impact and lead to the creation of a self-sustaining ecosystem.

The discussion paper noted that ICTAIs will provide the ecosystem for application-based technology development and deployment and will take on the mantle of executing the responsibilities of both the CASTLE (Centre for Advanced Studies, Translational research and Leadership) and the CETIT (Centre of Excellence in Technology Innovation and Transfer).

It will be an industry-led initiative and is expected to solve the top-level challenges that require AI-based solutions.

Additionally, ICTAIs will also be responsible for delivering commercial technology, and taking ideas, concepts or prototypes and turning them into marketable products through proactive coordination, communication and technology transfer.

The release noted another key area of focus will be to collaborate with industry leaders, start-ups, and AI services and product companies. These ties are intended to productise technologies and IP that are developed at the ICTAI.

The technologies developed through this model ICTAI will aid the NITI Aayog set up other future ICTAIs across the country.

NITI Aayog Adviser, Ms Anna Roy said that the NITI Aayog recommended the setting up of ICTAIs for applied research in AI in the National Strategy Paper. She added that collaboration with the private sector is essential in order to implement the research.

The centre will work to solve the problems the country faces, especially in the five sectors identified in the paper as healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and mobility.

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