The Department of Defence Production constituted a task force headed by Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran to study use of artificial intelligence, which it said has potential to provide military superiority apart from driving technology-driven economic growth. On Thursday, in his speech for Union Budget 2018-19, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the Centre’s think-tank Niti Aayog will initiate a national programme to direct the government’s efforts in the areas of artificial intelligence, including research and development of its applications.
“Experts believe that future progress of artificial intelligence (AI) has potential to have transformative impact on national security. It is also seen that AI is essentially a dual use technology. While it can fuel technology driven economic growth, it also has potential to provide military superiority. India has a strong talent pool of engineers which are advantages which need to be leveraged,” said an order from the Department of Defence Production seen by The Indian Express.
“To study the whole gamut of issues surrounding strategic implications of AI in national security perspective, in global context, it has been decided to constitute a multi-stakeholder task force,” the order noted.
Apart from Chandarsekaran, the 17-member task force comprises National Cyber Security Coordinator Gulshan Rai, representatives from the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Airforce, chairman and managing director of Bharat Electronics Ltd, other representatives from Indian Space Research Organisation, Atomic Energy Commission and defence ministry. Apart from these, the task-force will also include representation from academic institutes such as Indian Institute of Science-Bengaluru, and Indian Institutes of Technology at Mumbai and Chennai.
In his Budget speech, Jaitley also said: “Combining cyber and physical systems have great potential to
transform not only innovation ecosystem but also our economies and the way we live. To invest in research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis, quantum communication and internet of things, Department of Science & Technology will launch a mission on cyber physical systems to support establishment of centres of excellence”.