A central task force on Artificial Intelligence (AI) has suggested creating a National Artificial Intelligence Mission (N-AIM) that will serve as a nodal agency for coordinating AI related activities in the country. The report of the task force, set up by the Union Commerce Ministry in August last, has also said “AI should be seen as a scalable problem solver in India rather than only as a booster of economic growth.” Professor V Kamakoti, Chairman of the task force and a Professor of IIT, Madras, said the report was a “practical” one and that “all our recommendations have been very pointed and it has been seen to it that they are very much implementable in a short time.” According to the report, Artificial Intelligence “is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programmes.” The task force, whose members include those from government and the private sector, besides the academia, has identified 10 domains in India, including Agriculture/Food Processing for implementation of AI. Kamakoti told that the implementation of AI in labour intensive sectors such as agriculture will not take away jobs, but enhance productivity. The report has made a set of recommendations to the Government of India, which include the setting up of N-AIM with a budgetary allocation of Rs 1,200 crore over five years. The task force has recommended that the government fund under the “Union budget an inter-ministerial National Artificial Intelligence Mission (N-AIM), that will act as a nodal agency for coordinating AI related activities in India.” “Humans cannot be replaced but the skill sets change– farmer may have to now drive an intelligent tractor…people are already using harvester, smart devices in farming,” Kamakoti said. “We believe this (AI) will create more opportunities and jobs and make the process of agriculture more reliable. For instance, AI can predict an infection in crops. Therefore it will make agriculture more sophisticated,” he said.
Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture and food processing