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India joins a global initiative on artificial intelligence as founding member

India joined an international multi-stakeholder initiative on artificial intelligence called the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) as one of its founding members on Monday. The USA, UK, EU, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, and Singapore are also members of the initiative. GPAI was officially proposed by France and Canada at the Biarritz Summit in August 2019, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is supporting the initiative. GPAI will initially be comprised of four working groups focused on responsible AI, data governance, the future of work, and innovation and commercialisation, and inaugural meetings of these groups are expected in late 2020.

This is the “first initiative of its type for evolving better understanding of the challenges and opportunities around AI using the experience and diversity of participating countries,” the IT Ministry claimed in a statement.  “In order to achieve this goal, the initiative will look to bridge the gap between theory and practice on AI by supporting cutting-edge research and applied activities on AI-related priorities,” it added.

The initiative will supposedly bring together experts from the industry, civil society, governments, and academia to collaborate to promote responsible evolution of AI and will also evolve methodologies to show how it can be leveraged to respond to the present global crisis around COVID-19, the Ministry said.

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Apart from OECD, the initiative will also be supported by two Centres of Expertise, one each in Montreal and Paris. The OECD will allow the GPAI to create a strong link between international policy development and technical discourse on AI, taking advantage of the OECD’s expertise on AI policy in setting out the “first international standard for trustworthy AI”, it said in a statement.

The IT Ministry had last month launched the National AI Portal of India, which claims to act as as a digital platform for AI related developments in India, and can be used for sharing of resources such as articles, startups, investment funds in AI, resources, companies and educational institutions related to AI in India. The portal will also supposedly share documents, case studies, research reports, and has a section about learning and new job roles related to AI. The National e-Governance Division of the IT Ministry and industry body NASSCOM will jointly run this portal.

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