Urvashi Aneja

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The offices of SigTuples, an AI startup focused on improving healthcare, in Bangalore. Photo: Getty Images.

With its brand of ‘AI for All’India is seeking to position itself as a leader in the global AI race, innovating, testing and deploying solutions to address development challenges in the global south. The government’s official think tank, Niti Aayong, released a paper last year identifying five sectors for AI intervention in India – healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and smart mobility – and the government recently announced the creation of a National Centre on Artificial Intelligence.

But AI is not a silver bullet that can magically or autonomously address complex social problems. In fact, it can exacerbate existing socioeconomic inequities, lead to a concentration and collusion of power and even reconfigure the fundamental tenets of democracy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Participants at an AI event in Bangalore. Photo: Getty Images.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is high on the Indian government's agenda. Some days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence, reportedly India’s first research institute focused on AI solutions for social good. In the same week, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant argued that AI could potentially add $957 billion to the economy and outlined ways in which AI could be a ‘game changer’.

During his budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that Niti Aayog would spearhead a national programme on AI; with the near doubling of the Digital India budget, the IT ministry also announced the setting up of four committees for AI-related research.…  Seguir leyendo »

Workers dismantle old computers at an e-waste recycling factory near Bangalore. Photo: Getty Images.

The latest Global E-Waste Monitor places India as one of the highest contributors to global e-waste, generating over 2 million metric tonnes in 2016. Posing serious health and environmental risks, growing e-waste represents the hidden cost of increasingly digital lives in an information society.

With just 33 per cent of the population owning a smart phone, India already has the second largest number of smart phone users in the world, nearly 4 times that of the United States. The amount of e-waste generated will exponentially increase in the coming decade as the cost of consumer electronics decline, middle-class incomes rise, and the frequency at which devices are discarded increases.…  Seguir leyendo »