Hyderabad: The Telangana government has begun several initiatives on artificial intelligence (AI) and information technology (IT), including signing of memoranda of understanding with technology companies and launching pilot projects on AI, state IT minister K.T. Rama Rao (KTR) said. The state government has also declared 2020 as the ‘Year of AI’.
The minister said the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government is committed to maintaining the privacy of citizens, but aims to leverage data sets of the state’s 40 million people through technology such as AI and machine learning.
“Artificial intelligence can address complex problems beyond the capability of traditional methods and AI holds significance for the government for its potential to transform citizens’ lives. In line with our vision and our approach, AI will be our focus for the coming year and beyond. We are calling 2020 the Year of AI. This event today will set in motion initiatives that will potentially make the next decade Telangana’s decade of AI," KTR told delegates at the event held to announce the MoUs and declare 2020 as the Year of AI.
The government has signed MoUs with companies such as Hexagon and Adobe, the minister said.
The state government now also aims to transform public service delivery and governance with the help of deep technology, the minister said. “The state is already leading the way globally for ‘government-as-a-buyer’ for AI, which is also transforming public service delivery and governance with deep technology. This is already prompting top talent and innovators to shift their base to Hyderabad," he said.
The state has identified eight emerging technologies, including AI, blockchain, cloud, Internet of Things, and robotics, in its push for the use of technology.
The Telangana government has also formulated policy frameworks for blockchain, drones, cybersecurity and e-waste, among other things, the minister said.
However, experts had their misgivings. “The implementation of AI in policing and sharing data of AI development with the private sector is a concern as there is no data protection law. The state government needs to inform people if their data is being shared even between departments, as the fundamental right to privacy guarantees that no one can use my data without my permission," said Srinivas Kodali, an independent reseacher based in Hyderabad who works on data and governance.
This concern was shared by some citizens. “It is definitely a matter of concern, because data on us can be used in a wrong manner, especially by private players. The state government needs to actually tell us before they do anything with the data they have collected," said Abdul Khader, a resident of Banjara Hills in Hyderabad.