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NITI Aayog wants dedicated oversight body for use of artificial intelligence


NITI Aayog has proposed setting up of an oversight body to set up standards, guidelines and benchmarks for use of artificial intelligence across sectors, which will be mandatory for public sector procurement. The body is expected to have field experts from computer science, AI, legal experts, sector specialists and representatives from civil societies, humanities and social science.

“Oversight body may identify design standards, guidelines and acceptable benchmarks for priority use cases with sectoral regulators and experts,” the Aayog has said in the proposed draft document. The Aayog has sought stakeholder views on the draft document by December 15.

According to the draft document, the oversight body must play an enabling role under the broad areas of research technical, legal, policy and societal issues related to AI. Besides, it should provide clarity on responsible behaviour through design structures, standards, guidelines, enable access to responsible AI tools and techniques, it said.

The overarching body would also be responsible for educating and creating awareness on responsible AI, coordinate with various sectoral AI regulators as well as identify gaps and harmonize policies across sectors. “Further, it would represent India (and other emerging economies) in International AI dialogue on responsible AI.

NITI Aayog, after extensive consultation with various ministries and leading academicians, institutions, practitioners and industry players, had released India’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (NSAI) in June 2018, outlining the proposed efforts in research, development, adoption and skilling in AI. Meity has already moved a cabinet note for approval of the national strategy on artificial intelligence is a decision is expected soon.

The major recommendations of the strategy include, inter alia, setting up Centres of Research Excellence (CORE)- focused on fundamental research and International Centres on Transformational AI (ICTAI)- focused on applied research.

It is estimated that AI has the potential to add $957 billion to India’s GDP by 2035 and boost India’s annual growth by 1.3 percentage points by 2035.

NITI Aayog had proposed to invest Rs 7500 crore in funding five institutes or centres of research excellence (CORE), 20 international centres for transformational AI (ICTAI) and setting up a cloud computing called AIRAWAT that can be accessed by anyone under the national strategy for AI for India.

Government had in the Union Budget 2018-19 entrusted NITI Aayog with the responsibility to develop the national programme on AI.

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