Aiming to help in the growth of India’s nascent artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) ecosystem, NITI Aayog and Google have partnered to work on a range of initiatives, to help build the AI ecosystem across the country.

Commenting on the association, Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog said, “Artificial Intelligence is going to disrupt the way business is done and India, in particular, is uniquely poised in utilizing AI to innovate for social and inclusive good. India is embracing future technologies such as machine learning and AI to augment its capacity in health care, improve outcomes in education, develop innovative governance systems for our citizens and improve the overall economic productivity of the nation. NITI’s partnership with Google will unlock massive training initiatives, support startups and encourage AI research through PhD scholarships, all of which contributes to the larger idea of a technologically-empowered New India.”

Rajan Anandan, Vice President, India and South East Asia added, “Artificial intelligence has the potential to improve people’s lives in profound ways — from helping diagnose diseases and breaking down language barriers to making businesses more efficient. And we’re just at the beginning of what’s possible. We believe that ultimately, AI will help tackle huge challenges like healthcare, environmental protection and other social and developmental problems, while also spur innovation for businesses and developers.”

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog which is the think tank of the Government of India, has been entrusted to set up a national programme to conduct research and development in frontier technologies and AI is one such field. NITI Aayog has been developing India’s national strategy on AI along with the National Data and Analytics Portal to enable the wide deployment and use of AI. Google has the mission of organizing information and making it accessible to all, and the tech giant believes that AI is a solution of for solving problems for its users, customers, and society.

To achieve this goal, Google has been working with researchers, companies, and developers and arming them with tools to solve complex problems with the help of machine learning. And the list of such solutions includes TensorFlow, custom-built machine learning chips TPUs, Cloud AI, Cloud AutoML and the Cloud Machine Learning Engine. Google has also introduced a set of educational resources about machine learning and AI and a free online machine learning crash course that anyone can use to learn and practice machine learning concepts. After today’s big announcement in regard to this partnership between NITI Aayog and Google, both the entities will work together on these initiatives.

  1. Organise training for relevant government functionaries to introduce them to open source AI tools with the goal of enabling more effective governance.
  2. Awarding grants and scholarships to researchers, scholars and university faculty conducting cutting-edge research in the field of AI/ML in India.
  3. Organising AI/ML study jams for students and developers based on Google’s Machine Learning Crash Course (MLCC) on the fundamentals of machine learning
  4. Incubating Indian AI/ML startups in a program where they will be mentored by Google to better leverage AI in their respective business models.
  5. Organise a Hackathon focused on using AI/ML and open data sets to solve key challenges within agriculture, education, healthcare, etc. in India

Google will also train and incubate Indian AI startups in an accelerator program and will contribute to the research ecosystem as well as funding Indian researchers, scholars and university faculty for conducting AI-based research will be offered. Google will also bring its online training courses on AI to students, graduates, and engineers to numerous cities across India, in the form of study groups and developer-run courses.

NITI Aayog and Google will organize an AI/ML hackathon, that will be focused on solving key challenges within agriculture, education, healthcare, financial inclusion, transportation/mobility and more. Google, with the help of the NITI Aayog, will conduct hands-on training programs that will refine policymakers and technical experts in governments, about relevant AI tools, and how they can be used to streamline governance.

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