India’s artificial intelligence (AI) market is projected to reach US$7.8 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.2%. This is from a market value of US$3.1 billion in 2020!
February 1st saw the Indian government releasing its annual budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes new initiatives to help promote artificial intelligence in the country.
In this article, we’ll go over the top five things that can help improve artificial intelligence in India in 2023:
- Centers of excellence for artificial intelligence
- Ethical guidelines and regulations
- Tax incentives
- New infrastructure and youth investment
- Open-source AI
1. Centers of excellence for artificial intelligence
The government is set to open three centers of excellence in artificial intelligence as part of the initiatives “Make AI for India” and “Make AI work for India”. These centers will live in important educational institutions in India, with collaborations between them and leading industries.
The main goal? To research and develop practical artificial intelligence applications in health, agriculture, and sustainable cities. Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister in the parliament, added that “this will galvanize an effective AI ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field.”
Both experts and industry leaders support the move, stating that it’ll boost India’s economy and growth. The centers can also help to enhance the country’s financial ecosystem because improved artificial intelligence and machine learning applications can help to make services accessible and to promote financial inclusion.
2. Ethical guidelines and regulations
Establishing ethical guidelines and regulations can ensure a secure, safe, and responsible deployment of artificial intelligence in India, offsetting any potential negative consequences.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs is now drafting the first set of artificial intelligence and machine learning standards, with businesses that call their goos “AI-powered” needing to adhere to specific regulations and standards. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is developing these.
Defining both machine learning and artificial intelligence would prevent the terms from being used to describe every other product, as businesses sometimes use built-in AI tech to drive customers to make certain decisions. The government wants to discourage these initiatives.
The new rules could also include instructions on how to handle and secure customer data. The goal, according to a senior official, is to help “India align itself with standards of world-class quality adopted by the developed world if it wants to become a world power in this decade.”
3. Tax incentives
With increased funding for research and development, artificial intelligence companies will have more room for innovation – the government promised to double the research and development funding from Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 crore, which will let more companies invest in machine learning and artificial intelligence projects.
Alongside this increased funding, there’s also a revised taxation structure that’ll benefit a wide variety of small businesses, as the government is planning to reduce corporate tax rates from 25% to 22% for companies with income of up to Rs 400 crore per annum.
The new budget also helps to encourage investors to finance artificial intelligence startups. Companies that invest more than Rs 1 crore (around US$140,000) over three years will have tax breaks. Venture capital firms will benefit from tax deductions when investing in innovative businesses in the sector.
Artificial intelligence startups will also have special economic zones. These will aim to provide entrepreneurs with access to unavailable resources deriving from financial or geographic constraints. The zones could also become innovation hubs that bring together businesses from different parts of India, helping them to both share ideas and collaborate on projects.
4. New infrastructure and youth investment
The Indian government’s also been working to develop important infrastructure for artificial intelligence in the country. This includes cloud computing, high-speed internet, and data storage facilities.
The National Data Governance Policy was introduced in recent budget goals to ease access to anonymized data, which drives the rise of cutting-edge research and innovations by both academic institutions and startups.
The government also announced the setup of up to 100 labs in engineering institutions to develop 5G service-led applications. Additionally, the government is also working to implement a KYC-based system to align with Digital India’s goals.
A focus shift into Industry 4.0 will equip younger generations through the development of new-age courses in disciplines such as the Internet of Things, 3D printing, artificial intelligence coding, mechatronics, robotics, and other soft skill programs.
A collaboration between the Future Skills Prime Initiative, MeitY, NASSCOM, and the Indian government will aim to grow the young talent in the country to forge a path for a brighter future.
5. Open-source AI
Off-late open-source hardware is causing a stir, and India’s taken notice – in fact, it was seen at the FutureDesign roadshow in Bangalore, where Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrashekar announced, “India will be the RISC-V [an open-source hardware architecture] talent hub for the world.”
RISC-V sets out to make a jump into the next generation of processors, as they allow vendors to customize designs to unique specifications without worrying about royalty fees from third-party vendors.
The technology could enable developers to design cheaper and more efficient chips than an ARM-based design. This ARM ecosystem has two tiers, architectural and standard, which involve royalty fees.
Customizable chips, or Domain Specific Architectures, are quickly overtaking general purpose processors due to their performance, value, flexibility, and power consumption.1.