India would spend USD 200 million to establish an Artificial Intelligent (AI) ecosystem that will make e-governance platforms more accessible, according to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology.
The country would focus on the use of artificial intelligence for governance apps on India Stack, language model Digital India Bhashini and healthcare. Chandrasekhar said that it will encourage the private sector and start-ups to explore AI application cases.
Open-source software application programming interfaces (APIs) of government-backed services such as Aadhaar, unified payment interface (UPI) and DigiLocker compose India Stack. The open-source paradigm includes numerous computer languages, architecture, APIs, libraries or lexicons, user interfaces and apps.
“We will incorporate learning and intelligence into that stack, which will sit on all of these massive amounts of data we have about consumer behaviour and what citizens consume,” Chandrasekhar said, adding that AI will reduce duplication and fraudulent usage of subsidies to practically zero.
The government will establish safeguards for developing technology such as AI. “I can share with you one of the major areas where the new Digital India Act, which will replace the IT Act of 2000, will be the framework of guardrails for ethical use without disrupting innovation,” he added, alluding to proposed laws to regulate the country's rapidly increasing digital sector.
The government has held conversations with industry stakeholders as part of its IndiaAI project in preparation for the introduction of a datasets programme. The massive datasets stored by the government, when organised and made available in a curated format, will be a game changer for the country's AI industry.
“One of the major concerns with AI is the fear of bias and a lack of diversity in the underlying datasets that fuel these (AI language) models and one of the major reasons the India datasets programme is so powerful is that we represent one of the most diverse collections of datasets from citizens across the country,” Chandrasekhar explained.