Google Brain and Coursera founder Andrew Ng may aid India’s AI efforts

Google Brain and Coursera founder Andrew Ng may aid India’s AI efforts
21 Feb, 2018

Niti Aayog, the government’s main policy think tank, has reached out to Google Brain and Coursera founder Andrew Ng to help harness artificial intelligence to solve problems in sectors such as health, finance and education, a media report said. 

Ng, who was also the chief scientist at Chinese tech firm Baidu, will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Cabinet ministers to discuss how artificial intelligence can be deployed across various sectors, The Economic Times reported.

Ng said in the report he was open to the government’s invitation. “I give a lot of kudos to any government that is willing to create a thoughtful plan, because we live in an era in which whenever there is a technological disruption, leadership matters,” he said.

The Coursera founder also said that if he is invited to discuss the future of AI in India, he will have to apprise himself of the ongoing issues in India along with the country's demographics and opportunities to deploy the technology. “I think it would be really sad if we end up building an AI-powered society and India is not a part of it. So, I will do whatever I can to help.”

The report also quoted a government official as saying that the think tank would reach out to several national and international experts on AI to discuss deployment opportunities.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had, in his budget speech earlier this month, had said that the Niti Aayog would direct the government’s efforts to research new technologies such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and 3D printing in various areas.

Niti Aayog is also looking to deploy blockchain technology in several sectors including education, health and agriculture. It is reportedly working with blockchain startup Proffer, which was founded by MIT and Harvard graduates.

It has also been working on developing a country-wide blockchain network called IndiaChain aimed at reducing corruption and maximising transparency of transactions, technology news website FactorDaily reported late last year.