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Defence ministry eyes artificial intelligence for edge in combat-readiness

Defence ministry eyes artificial intelligence for edge in combat-readiness
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The defence ministry has said it is looking to equip armed forces with artificial intelligence for combat-readiness, a step in line with the policies of the US, Russia and China, news agency ANI reported.

According to the report, secretary of defence production, Ajay Kumar, said that the ministry was setting up a new task force with Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran at the helm.

"Artificial intelligence is going to influence everything in the future, including warfare. Most of the major countries in the world are taking steps to ensure that their defence systems are fully empowered by the use of artificial intelligence. In India, we have also taken steps in this direction," Kumar was quoted as saying.

The report further said that the project would have representatives from bodies such as Defence Research and Development Organisation, the government, Bharat Electronics Limited and startups working in the sector.

"This multi-stakeholder group is looking at what are the kinds of requirements," Kumar was quoted as saying. "We need to work on a partnership model between industries and defence forces, which should be different from a buyer-seller proposition," he added.

Of late, the Indian government has been trying to make use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain to improve sectors such as education and health care in the country. The country's top policy think tank, Niti Aayog, has been working with several industry bodies to implement solutions that use these technologies.

Last month, the policy think tank said it had tapped IIT-Delhi's artificial-intelligence tool that reveals and predicts socio-economic conditions of areas right down to the district level using satellite images. The project is expected to help policymakers take better decisions across health care, education, agriculture, sanitation, employment and others.

In a separate development, the information technology ministry has said that it was planning to spread its DigiGaon initiative to 700 rural villages across the country after piloting the technology infrastructure in six locations. The initiative, which was announced in Budget 2017 by the Union finance ministry, looks to connect the villages with WiFi and at the same time help residents with entrepreneurship opportunities.

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