Artificial Intelligence has become the buzzword with every business, industry adopting AI to make their businesses and processes smarter. AI and Machine Learning are being touted as technologies that will transform how humans will interact with machines.
To further understand the scope of AI and its future in India, Pan IIT Alumni India, an organisation of the alumni of IIT organised the PanIIT summit, bringing together thought leaders in academics, research, businesses, and policy-makers. The summit collaborated with management consulting firm Zinnov as the knowledge partner and with Hyderabad-based startup engine T-Hub as its innovation partner.
From AI’s role for social good, to education and its role in manufacturing, agriculture, etc, there were various sessions held discussing all that AI entails.
The panel on AI for Social Good led by P Anandan, CEO of Wadhwani AI spoke of how AI can help us increase the impact of doing good for the society. AI for Education touched upon how AI can help improve personalization in education to help target and work on a student’s weak points better, thereby bringing more engagement and improving learning outcomes.
The potential of AI in the manufacturing industry to improve processes and quality was also discussed. An important point made in this discussion was how AI can help improve safety of people working in manufacturing processes and also eventually increase efficiency. In agriculture too, AI can play a very important role in terms of weather prediction, monitoring soil, crop quality, etc, as also identified by Sriram Raghavan, CTO, IBM India, South Asia, who stressed on the importance of digitization in this sector.
“Farmers only get 30-35%of the price that a consumer pays. Therefore, there is a need for a value chain approach and a need to invest in farmers through technology and knowledge,” Suhas P Wani, Research Program Director, Asia and Director, ICRISAT Development Center said.
While the scope for AI is massive, its negative implications were also discussed in the Ethics, Privacy and Security panel discussion. The objective of the session was to understand that as technology embeds deeper into our lives, there is also a high risk of being vulnerable to hacks, data breaches and manipulation. Several such instances have already been seen, especially with the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal. Shyam Divan, senior advocate, Supreme Court, said that the control on data comes with a rider as most of our rights are interdependent.
The summit also held a 24-hour PanIIT AI HACKATHON 2019, where teams from IITs worked on various problem statements to find solutions to using AI. This hackathon was preceded by an online round where teams from all the 23 IITs contested.
Novus Genesis team won the Hackathon, while Team Eureka, which developed an application that lets people upload reports to help detect cancer or tumour cells by reviewing each pixel, won the second place.