New Delhi: Walking the talk on laying a roadmap for artificial intelligence (AI) for the country, government think-tank Niti Aayog on Monday said that it will be working with tech giant Google to develop AI-based solutions aimed at improving the overall economic productivity of the nation.

The move is aimed at fostering growth for India’s nascent AI and machine learning (ML) ecosystem, said Niti Aayog.

“Niti’s partnership with Google will unlock massive training initiatives, support start-ups and encourage AI research through PhD scholarships, all of which contributes to the larger idea of a technologically-empowered New India," said Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer, Niti Aayog.

“AI is going to disrupt the way business is done and India, in particular, is uniquely poised in utilising AI to innovate for social and inclusive good. India is embracing future technologies such as machine learning and AI to augment its capacity in healthcare, improve outcomes in education, develop innovative governance systems for our citizens and improve overall economic productivity of the nation," added Kant.

Under the aegis of this program, Google will train and incubate Indian AI start-ups in an accelerator program. These start-ups will be mentored and coached by Google and its affiliates to enable them to better leverage AI in their respective business models, said a statement from Niti Aayog.

While announcing the budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said that Niti Aayog will setup a national programme to conduct research and development in frontier technologies such as AI.

In February, the IT ministry formed four AI committees—citizen centric services; data platforms, skilling, reskilling and R&D; legal regulatory and cybersecurity. According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, union minister of electronics and IT, these committees would be headed by IIT director and industry experts from bodies such as Nasscom. He also said that the ministry will “coordinate" with Niti Aayog on this.

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