(L_R)Dr. Pratyush Kumar and Dr. Mitesh M. Khapra
To build Artificial Intelligence solutions to address the various problems faced by the country and to accelerate innovations in the area of artificial intelligence, two senior faculty members of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) have launched a platform called ‘AI4Bharat’.
The platform will be a community of professionals, students, domain experts, policy makers and academicians collaborating to solve real-world challenges in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, smart cities, digital India and sustainability by harnessing demonstrated AI technologies.
Dr. Mitesh M. Khapra and Dr. Pratyush Kumar, Assistant Professors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Institute, have founded AI4Bharat.
Dr. Pratyush Kumar said, “Artificial Intelligence is one of the defining technologies of this age. However, much of the research in the area today is driven by the problems of the west. For instance, building autonomous cars takes priority over building systems that can monitor the condition of rural roads. We need to change this by shifting the focus to India. This is where domain experts and the government would play an important role - identify problems that are unique to India and can benefit from AI.”
" Artificial Intelligence is one of the defining technologies of this age. However, much of the research in the area today is driven by the problems of the west. For instance, building autonomous cars takes priority over building systems that can monitor the condition of rural roads. "
Dr. Mitesh M. Khapra added, “To solve problems, it is important to move AI research and development out of silos and create a platform where AI professionals can come together to design and build impactful solutions. With this in mind, our immediate goal is to create a community of 100 selected AI experts and 50 domain experts.”
Considering that there is an acute shortage of AI talent in India, as part of the project, Dr.Kumar and Dr. Khapra’s startup ‘One Fourth Labs’ will offer basic and advanced online training in Artificial Intelligence at a cost of just Rs. 1,000 for a five-month course. These courses are designed to impart skills needed for solving real-world problems. The programme will start on August 15. Registrations are now open.
In addition, the two would seek to work closely with the government. “Much of the government funded research in AI today focuses on solving problems of tomorrow and is geared towards ambitious outcomes. While we should continue doing such research, it is also important to solve real problems on the ground today. The potential is there, the onus is on us to harness it and solve the right problems to maximize impact. The emphasis has to be on solving and solving today”, they said.
The platform will also open to enthusiastic students, who wish to contribute to country’s progress. They will be mentored to channelize their knowledge and skills to find solutions to the various problems plaguing the country.
India Science Wire