Thursday, March 18, 2021
IUSSTF launches its U.S. - India Artificial Intelligence (USIAI) Initiative
New Delhi – From deep learning algorithms for cancer diagnosis, application of machine learning to discover new materials, the use of 3D printers in advanced manufacturing, to intelligent systems with cognition and decision-making abilities, Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and technologies are enabling breakthroughs in many fields of science and engineering and fundamentally transforming several sectors of the economy. The unprecedented access to data, real-time analysis of heterogeneous data from different sources, and intelligent systems that enable autonomous decision-making using AI are raising fundamental questions about privacy, fairness, explainability, bias, and security. With this in mind, on the 17th of March 2021, the binational Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) launched its ambitious flagship initiative titled U.S. - India Artificial Intelligence or USIAI. The activity leverages IUSSTF’s unique ability to bring together key stakeholders from India and the United States to create synergies that address challenges and opportunities at the interface of science, technology, and society. Over the next year, IUSSTF will conduct a series of roundtables and workshops to gather input from different stakeholder communities and prepare White Papers that identify technical, research, infrastructure, and workforce opportunities and challenges, and domain-specific opportunities for R&D in healthcare, smart cities, materials, agriculture, energy, and manufacturing.
The Curtain Raiser featured inaugural talks, keynote lectures, and a panel discussion addressing key facets of the AI landscape. Speaking at the event Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and IUSSTF India Co-Chair said “Data is the new fuel that drives the industry. AI impacts education, society, R&D, and our industries and also opens up opportunities for India and the U.S. to work together. We have identified the barriers to AI growth in India and perhaps some of them are relevant in the US as well. It is a great beginning for all of us. Let AI bring us all together and open up opportunities. Together, we must create broad-based expertise in research & development, the absorption of AI technologies, and in enabling data ecosystems.”
Dr. Jonathan Margolis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space and Health, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and IUSSTF U.S. Co-Chair remarked “Our collaborations are based on our shared values. Both nations are committed to cement this relationship and bolster bilateral exchanges to further AI research, through professional societies, labs, and knowledge share. AI technologies offer tremendous promise to revolutionize the industry and enable solutions for critical global challenges in health, climate, biotech, space, and agriculture to name a few. AI holds the potential to unlock tremendous innovation opportunities that can grow our economies.”
Emphasizing the importance of collaboration, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director, National Science Foundation, said “The vision is to close the divide and to make sure that everyone benefits from the AI revolution. While much has been done, much more can be done and should be done to bolster AI research and development opportunities.”
Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman, Axilor Ventures said “We need to identify how we can leverage AI opportunities to benefit the entire world. Today, we are better positioned to identify urgent problems and find accurate solutions with the help of AI.”
“The AI Initiative is another example of IUSSTF’s critical role in catalyzing collaborations between India and the U.S. in cutting-edge areas of science and technology”, said Dr. Nandini Kannan, Executive Director IUSSTF.