In a bid to strengthen the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector in India, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday announced that the government will soon launch a National Artificial Intelligence Portal. Presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha, Goyal added that nine priority areas have been identified for the development of the AI sector in the country. Sensing the immense opportunity ahead, nearly 200 AI start-ups in India are today innovating and creating AI-based solutions for various industries.
In his budget speech last year, Arun Jaitley had mandated the NITI Aayog to establish the national programme on AI to guide research and development in new and emerging technologies. The NITI Aayog has identified five sectors – healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure and transportation – to focus its efforts towards the implementation of AI to serve societal needs. The think-tank also unveiled a discussion paper on a national strategy on AI which aims to guide research and development in new and emerging technologies.
“The paper gives many disruptive suggestions including one to utilize market place models for data, annotation and deployable solutions in AI. We need to democratize access to and development of this technology,” said NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. According to the latest Accenture report, AI has the potential to add $957 billion to India’s economy in 2035. More than 50 percent of Indian retail companies will be operating on AI by 2020, said PeopleStrong, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) HR technology and solutions company.