Responsible AI for Social Empowerment – The Big Picture – RSTV IAS UPSC

  • IASbaba
  • November 21, 2020
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The Big Picture- RSTV, UPSC Articles
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Responsible AI for Social Empowerment


TOPIC: General Studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

RAISE 2020 (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment): A global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and chart a course for using AI for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment in areas like Healthcare, Agriculture, Education and Smart Mobility, among other sectors.

  • AI is the branch of computer science concerned with developing machines that can complete tasks that typically require human intelligence. With the explosion of available data expansion of computing capacity, the world is witnessing rapid advancements in AI, machine learning and deep learning, transforming almost all sectors of the economy.
  • According to independent studies, AI has the potential to raise India’s annual growth rate by 1.3% and add USD 957 billion to the country’s economy by 2035.At a global level, AI is expected to unlock USD 15.7 trillion in productivity by 2030.
  • India has a large young population that is skilled and eager to adopt AI. The country has been ranked second on the Stanford AI Vibrancy Index primarily on account of its large AI-trained workforce. Our leading technology institutes like the IITs, IIITs and NITs have the potential to be the cradle of AI researchers and startups. India’s startups are innovating and developing solutions with AI across education, health, financial services and other domains to solve societal problems.

Organised by: Ministry of Electronics and IT and the NITI Aayog

AI and India
Amidst the accelerated adoption of AI-based technologies, India seems to stand at the precipice of the fourth industrial revolution. The competitive advantage of low-cost labour may fade away in the near future as economies begin to reap the benefits of AI in the form of increased productivity and cost advantages, and become more profitable than labour. Hence, it would be a timely move for India to build its AI capabilities, lest the global digital divide widens even more and we are left behind.

  • The report titled “Rewire for Growth” by Accenture estimates that AI has the potential to add $957 billion to India’s economy in 2035. As the post-Covid economy begins to rebuild itself, AI will present an opportunity to leapfrog by opening up newer sources of value and growth, beyond the physical limitations of capital and labour.
  • By 2025, data and AI can add over $500 billion and almost 20 million jobs to the Indian economy.

Artificial Intelligence for inclusive growth

AI is one of the many tools that can be used to either bridge the inequalities or create more. To achieve the former, the right policy approach and business practices at the outset are crucial for cushioning the negative externalities. Hence, a collaborative approach is the first step to realise the vision of AI-driven equitable growth. The knowledge gap could become the biggest impediment for designing policies for the futures, and therefore, the government, the industry and the academia are th ..

The collaborative efforts are the key to accelerate technology diffusion by promoting innovations that democratise the access of new technologies, enhancing research and development in AI that address the issues of data protection, transparency and accountability so that it gains public trust and encourages greater investment. With greater inclusion of stakeholders and greater diversity at each step of building an AI ecosystem, India can look to reap the gains of automation in not only the long- ..

Machine Learning-based deep-learning algorithms in AI can 

Medical: Provide insights to healthcare providers in predicting future events for patients. It can also aid in the early detection and prevention of diseases by capturing the vitals of patients. AI-based applications have helped biopharmaceutical companies to significantly shorten the preclinical drug identification and design process from several years to a few days or months. This intervention has been used by pharmaceutical companies to identify possible pharmaceutical therapies to help combat the spread of COVID19 by repurposing drugs.

Rural development and Agriculture: AI-based solutions on water management, crop insurance and pest control are also being developed. Technologies like image recognition, drones, and automated intelligent monitoring of irrigation systems can help farmers kill weeds more effectively, harvest better crops and ensure higher yields. Voice-based products with strong vernacular language support can help make accurate information more accessible to farmers. A pilot project taken up in three districts — Bhopal, Rajkot and Nanded — has developed an AI-based decision support platform combined with weather sensing technology to give farm level advisories about weather forecasts and soil moisture information to help farmers make decisions regarding water and crop management. ICRISAT has developed an AI-power sowing app, which utilises weather models and data on local crop yield and rainfall to more accurately predict and advise local farmers on when they should plant their seeds. This has led to an increase in yield from 10 to 30 per cent for farmers. AI-based systems can also help is establishing partnerships with financial institutions with a strong rural presence to provide farmers with access to credit.

Disasters: An AI-based flood forecasting model that has been implemented in Bihar is now being expanded to cover the whole of India to ensure that around 200 million people across 2,50,000 square kilometres get alerts and warnings 48 hours earlier about impending floods. These alerts are given in nine languages and are localised to specific areas and villages with adequate use of infographics and maps to ensure that it reaches all.

Education: The Central Board of Secondary Education has integrated AI in the school curriculum to ensure that students passing out have the basic knowledge and skills of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had launched a “Responsible AI for Youth” programme this year in April, wherein more than 11,000 students from government schools completed the basic course in AI.

To check facial recognition misuse

  • Countries around the globe, including India, should have proper regulations to ensure governments do not use facial recognition or any other facet of artificial intelligence (AI), in a way that would impinge on peoples’ most-cherished democratic freedoms
  • Transparency and accountability are the foundational principles that can ensure the ethical use of AI. Before any country advances, it must advance a responsible AI that’s grounded in clear and firm ethical principles.
  • The bedrock of a responsible AI strategy should be accountability. Plus, it should be fair, unbiased, and it should offer security and safety, to ensure people’s privacy, and most importantly, it should be inclusive, by all means.


We hope that India’s “AI for All” strategy focuses on responsible AI, building AI solutions at scale with an intent to make India the AI garage of the world — a trusted nation to which the world can outsource AI-related work. AI solutions built in India will serve the world.

AI derives strength from data. To this end, the government should put the process of putting in place a strong legal framework governing the data of Indians. The legislation should stem from a desire to become a highly secure and ethical AI powerhouse. 

India wants to build a data-rich and a data-driven society as data, through AI, which offers limitless opportunities to improve society, empower individuals and increase the ease of doing business.

Connecting the Dots:

  1. India can become AI Laboratory of the world. What are your views? Substantiate your answer with examples.
  2. What makes India a crucible for business opportunities in AI? Examine.
  3. Essay: Data has become the new oil.

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