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Emerging tech will help address India’s biggest challenges: Karnataka CM

Emerging tech will help address India’s biggest challenges: Karnataka CM
Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.

Innovations in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and blockchain along with their convergence will have an impact on the biggest challenges facing the country in the fields of education, health, agriculture and energy, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said on Thursday.

He was speaking at the 21st edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit, the state government's flagship event for information technology and biotechnology. 

Kumaraswamy said that the state will continue to encourage small and medium enterprises and startups to provide social innovation for wider impact by improving the overall quality of life. 

The chief minister said that the government was planning to set up an Innovation Authority, a body that he will head, to help startups commercialise their ideas by overcoming legal hurdles. 

"We are aware that there have been legal hurdles and for that there will also be a separate legal team to help these companies get their patents and intellectual property in India and abroad," Kumaraswamy added.

The technology summit, which is taking place over three days in the city's Bangalore Palace, will see participation from more than 10,000 visitors, 200 speakers and 200 startups, including delegates from 11 countries.

The annual event is being organised by the state government’s department of information technology and biotechnology, in association with Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) Bengaluru, apart from industry bodies like NASSCOM, India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) and TiE.

It aims to be a confluence between government, industry, academia and research & development institutions across the country. 

The event focuses on blockchain, artificial intelligence,  machine learning (ML), robotics, intelligent apps and analytics, immersive experience (AR/VR), internet of things (IoT), cyber security in the technology sector and biopharma, bioagri, bioenergy and biofuels, bioservices, bioinformatics in the biotechnology sector.

"We believe in designing policies to suit the changing needs of the sectors,” said KJ George, Karnataka’s minister for IT and biotechnology. “The emerging disruptive technologies have been taken into consideration while framing the policies for IT, BT, electronics and animation and gaming.” 

He added that the state has taken initiatives to set up centres of excellence in these disruptive technologies.  

The event is also conducting a hackathon called Humane Code in collaboration with Global Innovation Alliance Partners and Startup Innovation Hubs to create solutions that address local as well as global needs. There is a drone-racing competition as well.

“Most key sectors today are getting disrupted by new technologies like blockchain, AI and robotics, and these are technologies that we need to support,” said Gaurav Gupta, principal secretary at the departments of IT and commerce & industries with the government of Karnataka. “For us to be future-ready, technology must be inclusive for people.”

Speaking at one of the panel discussions, Ajay Sharma, director for programme delivery at Intel India, said that people were moving on from the analytical model to the data model in the age of AI.

"Previously people used to take the help of machines to crunch numbers and then take decisions. But with AI, it is the machines that will crunch data and take the best possible decisions. So there is a change in division of labour between man and machine in the AI age," he said.

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