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India plans to use AI for better governance

The Indian government has said that it will leverage artificial intelligence tools to put in place better regulations and protect citizen’s privacy and ownership of data.

The Minister of Commerce and Aviation said that the country is transporting more data than the United States and China put together. The top six companies in the world are using this data with value addition and monetisation.

He said that India is strengthening its legal system and regulatory framework to “deal with this world of digital data.”

In 2018, the government released its initial assessment and recommendations on data privacy and management, as well as a draft of the legislation on data protection, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018.

The Bill outlined seven core principles of data protection, processing, and privacy – informed consent, technology agnosticism, data controller accountability, data minimisation, holistic application, deterrent penalties, and structured enforcement.

Some of the fields where the government uses AI and/or could potentially implement more AI tools are:

Cybersecurity

The government is leveraging AI to strengthen and build cybersecurity capabilities. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) in collaboration with IIT-Patna is undertaking a project that seeks to develop cyber forensic tools driven by AI for law enforcement, the government, and other intelligence agencies.

The government is also working with private companies to analyse data they have obtained from intelligence agencies to evaluate threat patterns and predict future outcomes.

Defence

The government uses AI primarily for intelligence, surveillance, robot soldiers, cyber-defence, risk terrain analysis, and intelligent weapons systems.

Further, AI-based tools are expected to aid the defence forces constructively in areas like decision support, sensor data analysis, predictive maintenance, situational awareness, and accurate data extraction security.  These tools will assist defence personnel in better operations, maintenance, and logistics support.

Agriculture

AI in the agricultural sector generally involves predictive analytics, which includes weather and climatic conditions forecasting, disaster prediction, crop analysis, rainfall analysis, and disease cycling.

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics collaborated with a private company to develop an AI sowing mobile application, which involves machine learning.

It sends advisories to farmers providing them with information on the optimal date to sow by sending them text messages on their phones.

The government has also launched other mobile applications, such as Kisan Suvidha, IFCO Kisan Agriculture, and RML Farmer.

Documentation

The government hasn’t completely made use of AI tech in this area. AI could be used to categorise and arrange a range of government documents, including government notifications, freedom of information requests, land records, and court orders quickly, which will free up human resources.

Law enforcement

According to the Policy Commission’s National Strategy for AI, AI technology provides safety through smart command centres with sophisticated surveillance systems that keep checks on people’s movement, potential crime incidents, and general security of the residents.

Social media intelligence platforms provide aid to public safety by gathering information from social media and predict potential activities that could disrupt public peace.

The legal system

As reported earlier, the government has made court case information from all computerised districts and subordinate courts in the country accessible through eCourts in Common Service Centres.

However, according to data from the National Judicial Data Grid, there were over 4.2 million cases pending across 24 high courts of India in 2018, with 49 percent of these cases being over five years old.

To remedy this, a private law firm is pushing for more AI tech in India’s judiciary system. With the technology, once the user uploads the scanned copy of the contract or agreement on the system, an optical character reader (OCR) tool converts it into an editable document. Then the AI technology used in the platform extracts the data, summarises it, and analyses the contract.

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