More than three budgets presented in the parliament had mentioned about the Artificial Intelligence (AI) provisions. But the much-talked-about AI project has not moved forward in the last two years.
The project seems to have been stuck between government departments NITI Aayog and the ministry of electronics and IT (Meity).
Meity, in a last inter-ministerial meet, has raised apprehension over the numerous overlaps committed by the NITI Aayog related to AI road map.
Now, the ministry has sought the intervention of finance ministry to look into it and resolve it, said ET report quoting govt official aware of the development.
The ministry, as per the report, thinks they are the one who should be doing AI mission.
In response to Meity concerns, NITI Aayog official said the AI mission is not a monopoly of single ministry.
“This is not a department issue. It cannot be a monopoly of one ministry. Instead, it should be a national movement and all departments should adopt machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) while ensuring there is no duplication of work,” the official said.
NITI Aayog plans to go as per its road map laid out last year. It plans to build five centres of research excellence, 20 institutional centres for transformational AI and cloud computing platform called AIRAWAT.
It has already got FM’s EFC committee approval for its proposal. It will now proceed to get Union Cabinet approval.
This is not the first time that Meity has raised the issue and question over NITI Aayog’s roles in the AI project. It had earlier sent Rs 400 crore AI proposal to the EFC. The plan includes developing applications and doing proofs of concepts in the area of health, education.
Besides, the ministry is also mulling to launch a national AI portal.
In the last couple of years, the govt has shown a keen interest in building businesses with the help of emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain.
AI technology is considered best assistance in data analysis and improving efficiency in systems including cars, mobile devices and weather predictions. The govt has identified almost nine priority areas to implement AI.
There is nothing wrong with being ambitious. What matters is implementation and execution on the ground. And it cannot be achieved through disagreements among its departments.