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Karnataka govt signs MoU with WEF for AI centre

Priyank Kharge, who was at the signing, underscored the government’s recognition of AI as an enabler for the growth of the state’s digital economy, along with being a source of investments and job opportunities.
Last Updated 29 February 2024, 23:34 IST

Bengaluru: The government of Karnataka (GoK) on Thursday signed a letter of intent (LoI) with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to set up a centre for artificial intelligence (AI) in the state. It will be WEF’s only centre dedicated to AI in the country. Through this, the government aims to position Karnataka as a global hub for AI by connecting it to WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) Network. The global platform is focused on inclusive technology, governance and responsible digital transformation, GoK said in a press statement.

“By connecting with other regional centres worldwide, the Karnataka centre aims to contribute to the global dialogue on the ethical and practical dimensions of AI,” it said. More importantly, the government hopes the centre will help AI-focused startups in the space to establish a global presence by accessing networking and collaboration opportunities.

Present at the LoI signing was the Minister of Information Technology and Biotechnology Priyank Kharge. He underscored the government’s recognition of AI as an enabler for the growth of the state’s digital economy, along with being a source of investments and job opportunities.

“Thanks to the availability of a skilled talent pool and a thriving innovation ecosystem, our state hosts numerous companies and startups dedicated to deeptech and AI. With the establishment of the Centre for AI, we envision a promising opportunity that will propel Bengaluru and Karnataka into becoming a global AI hub,” he further said.

The centre is expected to play a role in establishing industry-academia networks, facilitating the exchange of technological trends, fostering research collaboration, and responding to global issues.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Karnataka on the Centre for Artificial Intelligence. Bengaluru has been at the forefront of innovation and we hope to support its leadership to demonstrate the potential of AI for economic growth and social prosperity,” said Jeremy Jurgens, managing director, World Economic Forum.

At the WEF meet in Davos, Switzerland in January, the state government had signed eight memorandums of understanding with various global firms worth Rs 23,000 crore in the fields of AI, citizen services, sustainability, and e-governance, among others, highlighting the state’s growing importance as a global technology hub.

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(Published 29 February 2024, 23:34 IST)

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