Govt not slow to adopt technology: Prashant Mishra

Govt not slow to adopt technology: Prashant Kumar Mishra

(From Left) Prashant Kumar Mishra, Director Department of IT &BT and MD, KITS GOK and Krishnakumar Natarajan, Co-Founder Mindtree are seen at the inaugural session of Ai Application & Digi-Tech Summit & Expo, organised by Confederation of Indian Iindustry (CII), at The Lalit Ashok, in Bengaluru. (DH Photo)

A shroud of secrecy that covers law enforcement agencies' efforts to monitor social media accounts using advanced technologies was partly peeled back on Tuesday during a discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Speaking at a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on ‘Applied Intelligence’, Prashant Kumar Mishra, Director of IT & BT, said while most people might think that the government is slow to embrace new technologies, the reverse is now true with officials now having realised that advanced tech, such as AI, is the need of the hour.

Mishra specified that policing is one area where the government has embraced AI and Machine Learning.

“Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling on the Ayodhya issue, law enforcement agencies started to go through twitter to spot keywords such as dispute, violence and crime, because there was much apprehension that the judgment would trigger violence. The objective was to geo-locate where such tweets were emanating from,” he said, adding later, that this advanced AI technology was developed in Bengaluru.

AI and environment

According to Mishra, the state government is also currently trying out a pilot programme to introduce AI across various sectors. “In 2019, the forest department began to use a system to collect data to better price timber logs for sale for example,” he said.

He pointed out the parallels of this programme to a system employed in Japan, where farmers conduct data analytics to determine market demand and methods of yield increase.

In a case study provided by Sameer Dhanvajani, CEO of AIQRATE, a Japanese farmer named Makoto Koike was able to boost the percentage increase of his parent’s cucumber farm by 400% by using data to determine which type of cucumber sold best in the markets.

“Koike was able to achieve this increase through an expenditure of just $35,” Dhanvajani said.

In the case of India’s forest department pilot programme, Mishra specified that “data analysis for five years is made, after which a fair price analysis is used to value the timber,” he said.

65% of global GDP to digitise

Experts gathered at the conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI) said 65% of the global Gross domestic product will be digitised soon and it will grow at 3% to 5% a year.

Ramkumar Narayanan, vice-president of Research & Development of VMware Software India, said three major technology trends brought about the next wave of AI: cloud computing that allowed for data democratisation and analysis, smartphones that enabled users to stream and consume data on the go and internet of things.

“Companies that are not in this revolution will not sustain in the long run,” he said.

This situation was said to give India a unique opportunity to lead the world in AI, which according to Krishnakumar Natrajan, co-founder of Mindtree, was primarily because Indian technology companies have exposure to global customers, and almost 75% of the $170 billion revenue of the Indian technology industry comes from global customers.

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