The Telangana government is aiming to become the first state in the country to provide broadband connection to every household in the next 18 months, piggybacking on the potable drinking water supply system.
The global scientific community has come a long way since the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a concept to its modern-day appeal as a field with near-limitless potential in turning around the way activities are performed in society. The ultimate frontier for AI systems continues to be achieving a level of sophistication that matches that of the human mind. There appears to be a lot of optimism around the potential of AI in enhancing government initiatives such as Make in India, Skill India, and Digital India which have put India on the path of a technological revolution. Since the effectiveness of AI, machine learning, robotics and cognitive automation increases with a rise in the quality and quantity of training data that the systems are exposed to, conditions are ripe for India to leverage Big Data for intelligent decisions and emerge as a leader in AI.
AI techniques can be applied in large-scale public initiatives ranging from crop insurance schemes to tax fraud detection to enhancing our security strategy. For example, AI algorithms can detect fraud in filing of corporate tax returns by employing pattern recognition over a large volume of pre-existing filed tax returns and rule based analysis of tax regulatory codes, which can help to avoid tax evasion. Similarly, LPG distributors can leverage real-time data stream and integration to implement a dynamic pricing model, which ensures that the LPG subsidy is effectively transferred to consumers who actually need it by expressly identifying customer accounts and pricing accordingly.
Deep learning, an integral part of AI could be used with great impact in the Clean India initiative. For example, citizens can use mobile applications to photograph unhygienic locations and share them with relevant municipal authorities with geo-tags and timestamps that facilitate remedial action.
Another potential use could be to use pictures and text uploaded by the public of polluting sources that affect the quality of water in river Ganga, which can further be processed through deep learning neural networks in conjunction with data available from the Bhuvan Ganga application to enable decision makers to prioritise interventions.
Coming to the Skill India initiative, India has entered into partnerships with public and private sector organisations both in India and abroad, some of which start at the school level to facilitate knowledge exchange. This could prove to be a potentially ripe area to apply adaptive learning solutions to tailor education to different levels of receptiveness and allow students to learn at their pace.
In the area of Smart City development, AI can and will play an integral part in analysing huge volumes of data, which would be generated by smart city components and also by users. AI can be the bedrock on which patterns and similarities between various data sets can be detected and acted on. AI models will learn each day from the streaming/online data in the cognitive systems and will keep on increasing the accuracy level of predictions and insights.
AI can also be used in e-governance in traditional industries like agriculture by using smarter production, processing, storage and distribution and consumption mechanisms. AI solutions can help provide site-specific, timely data on crops to enable application of appropriate inputs such as fertilisers and chemicals.
The writer, Sudipta Ghosh, is partner and leader—data and analytics, PwC India