IIT-M's new AI platform to work on India's social problems

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Chennai: The faculty of Indian Institute of Technology Madras Wednesday launched a platform to address socially relevant problems specific to the country through artificial intelligence.

Called 'AI4Bharat', the platform would have a community of AI professionals, students, domain experts, policy-makers and academicians collaborating to address problems in agriculture, healthcare, among others.

One of the founders of the platform besides professor Mitesh M Khapra, professor Pratyush Kumar told PTI that much of the research in AI today is focussed on problems in the West.

"Building driver-less cars is given priority in the West. But we need automatic system that can monitor the quality of roads in the rural areas," Kumar said, considering the rapid pace in which the government is constructing roads.

Translation of content between Indian languages, building a system to help farmers get real-time information on his damaged crops are some of the areas which Kumar mentioned AI techniques can be used.

"We still don't have a system to accurately translate something from, let us say Tamil to Marathi. We still rely on Google to keep making improvements. We need to be able to make an open available resource for people translate from any Indian language to any other Indian language," he said.

Prof Khapra said, "To solve such problems it is important to move AI research and development out of silos and create a platform where AI professionals can come together to design and build impactful solutions."

AI4Bharat's immediate goal is to create a community of 100 selected AI experts and 50 domain experts, he added.

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