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Can India emulate a London borough using artificial intelligence to serve citizens?

By: | New Delhi | Published: June 21, 2016 6:25 AM

If you thought it was only the private sector that has taken to artificial intelligence (AI) of late, you need only connect with Amelia, the AI entity that London’s Enfield Council is now using to respond to queries. Developed by IPsoft, a ‘digital labour’ company, Amelia is capable of sensing emotion, analysing natural language, and applying logic and reason. The purpose, for the Council, is to aid users in finding key information, filing standard forms and authenticating certain licenses and permits.

The heightened role of technologies like Amelia makes you wonder if these have a future in India. Prime minister Narendra Modi has championed Digital India. He has spoken of revamping the online portals of numerous government undertakings. There definitely is potential for AI here. Smart Cities too could greatly benefit. Given how this autonomous technology was designed with a heavy emphasis on customer support, it could greatly increase the accessibility and maintenance of several services. Furthermore, in a country like India where the system is known to clog up easily, a platform that can process and certify applications would be of great benefit in expediting time-consuming procedures. An added bonus could be the removal of middlemen. Between TCS’s Ignio and Wipro’s Holmes, there is no shortage of homegrown potential, and yet insufficiency runs deep.

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