There appears to be a lot of optimism around the potential of Al in enhancing government initiatives and putting the country on the path of a technological revolution. Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi recently stated in his 'Mann Ki Baat' how Artificial Intelligence can be "harnessed to better the lives of the underprivileged, the marginalized and the needy"1.
To pave way for better advancements in digital technologies, the Government even doubled its allocation to the 'Digital India'programme to $480 Mn (INR 3,073 Cr) in 2018-19. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Internet of Things are all crucial components of the Government's vision of developing 100 smart cities under this programme 2. Cities provide a wealth of information and if this valuable data is captured through sources like transportation tickets, tax information, police filings, and cameras & sensors in public places, it can create endless possibilities for improving the quality of services for the citizens. Monitoring of real-time resource usage of public facilities like power and water can also facilitate automatic adjustments leading to significant savings.
Traffic management, crowd supervision and accident control are all problems with smart Al-based solutions. Take for instance the recent case in Kolhapur, where in a bid to remove traffic related mishaps, a social enterprise initiative worked along with the Deputy Superintendent of Police to understand the reasons for road accidents and introduced interventions to reduce them. They collected data on various parameters like time & place of accident, type of vehicle, etc. from the last few years and analyzed it through an algorithm to detect the hotspots. Based on this information, traffic police deployed additional personnel in the vulnerable areas, and brought down the accidents by a whopping 33% 3.
in the realm of governance
Al has also established its role in the field of 'public-people participation for effective governance' as citizens across India have started using mobile applications to photograph their issues and share them with relevant government authorities with geo-tags and time stamps to facilitate remedial action. For instance, in a bid to promote e-govemance in Rajasthan, an engineering student Pratyush Joshi has been using the state Government's 'Sampark' web portal to register public grievances on a centralized digital platform and helping the authorities resolve civic issues pertaining to roads, public parks, streetlights, sewerages and drinking water in Jodhpur and few nearby districts. With efficient use of technology, this 24-year-old has already assisted the Government in solving more than 100 civic issues in this region, facilitating the objective of 'Digital India' drive 5.
Moving from 'Digital India' to 'Clean India', deep learning (an integral part of Al) and essentially a process that is used for pattern recognition, image analysis and natural language processing can have a great impact in this initiative. For instance, in the scheme directed towards construction of toilets in rural India where the government employees are supposed to upload images of toilet constructions to a central server for assessment, image processing Al can be used to flag photographs that do not resemble completely built toilets and image recognition can be used to identify a breach like if the photos have been uploaded by the officials from a location other than the intended site 6. Considering the scale of this initiative, the ability to keep such a stringent check can really increase the effectiveness of this project.
1· https://m,hindustanlimf!Js.comitecl!l>vhat-aoes-an-artif1cial-intelligenC1J-revolution-fll8an.for-indialstory B2nU67JKVXodP3NIJSKUM.html
2- https://www.thehindubusinessline.comieconomy/budget/govt-doubles-digital-india-allocation-to -3073-crore-telecom) sector-disappointed/article22620283.ece
3- https://www.analyticsindiarnag.com/indian-govt-has-been-quick-in-adopting-ai-in-public-sector-but-can-they-keep-up with-all-these-projects/
5- www.hindu.correodays-paperitp-otherstates/jodhpur-youth-uses-sampark-portal-to-resolve-civic-issueslarti clal 7915896.ece/amp/
6- pwc Pdf Report - A rtifidal Intelligence and Robotics - 2017