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India, Taiwan collaborate on AI-based ‘start pandemic prevention’ system

Academicians and government representatives from India and Taiwan gathered together at an online meeting to promote a ‘start pandemic prevention’ system to further the bilateral cooperation between the two countries for the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

The ‘start pandemic prevention’ system, developed by the National Chung Cheng University (CCU), automatically detects body monitoring, facial recognition, and performs social contact analysis. According to a news report, CCU installed the system at the entrance of a few of its academic buildings last year in March; the same system was deployed in the buildings of Sri Ramaswamy Memorial (SRM) Institute of Science and Technology in July, last year.

The system uses a thermal camera to detect body temperature and can help in contact tracing if necessary, as it also collects data on student movement on the campus. To address data security, the system does not upload the data on a cloud. It operates through AI computing. According to CCU Institute of Computer Science and Information Engineering professor Hsiung Pao-ann, both CCU and SRM contributed funding for the project.

Given its larger number of students across five campuses, the SRM institute can collect more data to optimise the system’s social contact analysis, while its affiliated hospital could also use the system. The report added that to take the collaboration forward, in May, both the colleges intend to start working on a project to detect fabricated news and videos.

India-Taiwan cooperation in technology focuses on engineering, information technology, and sciences. Other potential areas include technologies related to green energy, energy storage, and biotechnology. Industry experts at the meeting also expect the two to cooperate in low-orbit communications satellites.

India has been working with several countries in the field of AI. Last month, India and Brazil discussed a range of scientific and technical issues and possible multilateral collaborations. The deliberations focused on AI, biotechnology, energy, nanotechnology, information communication technologies (ICTs), and cybersecurity. Also, in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and COVID-19 vaccines.

The countries agreed to monitor biomes and agricultural areas, oceans, water quality, air quality, and atmospheric pollution by satellite. Further, they will develop earth system modelling for weather forecasting and climate change.

The Indian side mentioned that a series of scientific events have been planned, which would be steered and coordinated by India as Chair of BRICS in 2021. India was also keen to collaborate with Brazil in atmospheric sciences, renewable energy, low-carbon technologies, agriculture, cyber-physical systems, pollution, circular economy, space, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

It is estimated that AI has the potential to add over 500 billion dollars and 20 million jobs to the Indian economy by 2025. India has a diverse pool of talent working on innovative ideas in the space of AI to solve real-world problems. The AI domain attracted the highest investment in 2020 at US$ 443.8 million. It was followed by the analytics domain with a cumulative investment of US$214.8 million. The automation field received total financing of US$ 91.7 million, followed by conversational AI and NLP domain with US$ 38.6 million. Robotics and IoT received 0.8% and 0.6% of the total funding, respectively.

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