Industry, Academia and IIT Alumnus Discuss Governance and Application of AI

• Pan IIT Conclave 2019: Experts From Industry, Academia and Government Including IIT Alumnus Discuss Governance and Application of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

New Delhi, India, January 22, 2019 : After an immensely successful first day with active participation from industry experts, academia and policy makers, the second day witnessed significant debates and discussions on governance and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the TCS- Pan IIT Conclave 2019. The day began with the key note speech by Prof. K. VijayRaghavan the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. He shared his thoughts on the nation’s progress in the field of artificial intelligence. Taking this thought further, Partha Ghosh – Leadership Adviser, shared his vision and roadmap for AI’s future in India.

The conclave is being organized by PAN IIT Alumni India (PIAI) and has brought together leaders in academics and research, business and industry, and policy-makers. The platform helped dive deep into challenges and opportunities with AI. It helped build a framework for implementation of AI in several industries. The recommendations from the conclave will be actioned along academia, government, industry and startup partners by the PAN IIT AI forum in the coming months.

Various sessions through the day, covered the importance and growth of AI across sectors. The AI and Startups session witnessed a riveting discussion on role of AI in one of the fastest growing business sectors in India. India’s startup ecosystem has evolved in the last several years to be ranked 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, producing several unicorns.

With a strong momentum, the latest trends are on building deep tech startups and B2B startup. Chatbots, natural language processing, computer vision, robotic process automation, advanced analytics are other hot areas in AI that were discussed in the session. The session was led by  Ravi Narayan, Managing Director, Mentor Partners. Key panelists included Dr. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of Dept. of Science & Technology, Manish Singhal, Managing Partner, pi Ventures, Ashish Gupta, Managing Director, Helion Ventures, Debu Chatterjee, Head of ML, Service Now and Apurv Anand, Co-founder, SigTuple.

Financial services are seeing a slew of startups globally in the payments, lending, insurance and wealth management spaces and all of them are attempting to use AI to improve efficiencies in terms of costs, underwriting, marketing response, product customization, etc. With the exponential growth in the financial services in India, AI is poised to play an integral role in this growth story. The session was led by V Kamakoti, Professor, IIT Madras, who further shed light on this progress. Key panelists included Rajiv Sabharwal, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Tata Capital, Pulak Ghosh, Professor, IIM Bangalore and Sankarson Banerjee, Chief Information Officer, Ratnakar Bank.

Advanced technology such as AI has the power to enhance human life in innumerable ways, however if unchecked, it can also lead to significant damage. Thus, making it imperative to carry out the due diligence of framing and following a right set of Governance guidelines around the evolving technology. The Governance of AI session highlighted this need for a policy framework. The session was led by Gautam Shroff (Vice President & Chief Scientist, TCS).

Speaker Nipun Mehrotra, Chief digital officer, IBM India/ South Asia said, “AI has to be controlled and governed within the law and within the fundamental rights of the constitution. There are three areas that are extremely relevant, Governance around Freedom of Expression, Governance of awareness, where we manage transparency and accountability and protecting privacy of identity. As users, we should have the flexibility and freedom to question what data is being shared, the whole aspect of transparency and accountability is critically important. Using AI to create different sets and put them on top of each other as intersection points and start to create identity which might be in the realm of personal identification, even though the user has not shared their data, therefore the protection of identity needs a certain governance of AI.”

The session on AI in Healthcare highlighted that AI can just be that shot-in-the-arm for Healthcare sector which will make it more efficient and enable further advancement in medical sciences. The session leader Jayanthi Sivaswamy, Professor – Dean, IIIT Hyderabad, resonated this thought as he stated, “AI can be instrumental in replacing oral assistance and can be used as a smart assistant to doctors and other medical personnel reducing human error & intervention.” Dr Navakanta Bhat, Prof, IISC said,  “AI can revolutionize healthcare by conducting early diagnosis and cure diseases early. In Indian context he said that, more than 60% of our rural population suffers from anemia and malnutrition and so, the biggest challenge in healthcare is availability of data and its regulation and AI can be used to solve this problem.”

Niranjan Joshi, Professor, Dept of BioTech, Govt of India said, “AI in healthcare is inventible because of the quantum of data involved. Be medical imaging or any other usage, AI can be become one of the key enablers in the healthcare domain.”

Besides these engaging and enlightening sessions, the conclave also included:

  • The first PanIIT AI Hackathon 2019 , that aims to promote AI and ML among the wider community of young software and AI professionals and showcase the talent among them. The winning teams won a total prize money of more than INR 6.6 Lacs
  • Launch of PanIIT AI Forum – a platform to promote efficient communication and the free exchange of views and ideas among AI professionals in diverse fields to germinate ideas and business opportunities. The core team includes K Ananth Krishnan, Chief Technology Officer, TCS, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary Department of Science & Technology (DST), Ravi Narayan – MD, Mentor Partners and Prof. Mausam, at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi

The last day of the Conclave ended on a high note with release of the report on the research in AI in India by Krishnan Narayanan, Co-Founder & President, itihaasa Research & Digital, Dr. B Ravindran, IIT Madras, and Dr. Mausam, IIT Delhi.

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