Hyderabad: IT and industries minister K.T. Rama Rao on Thursday officially kick-started the Telangana state government’s ‘Year of AI’ by launching the initiative’s logo and website. The state government plans to conduct various events and deploy various projects by using artificial intelligence (AI) in 2020.
Mr Rama Rao, along with principal secretary, IT, Jayesh Ranjan, exchanged memoranda of agreement (MoU) with eight organisations including Intel, IIIT-H, IIT Kharagpur, NVIDIA, Adobe, Hexagon and NASSCOM. These organisations are expected to work with the government in fields such as applied healthcare, smart mobility, data sciences and skill development.
In his address, Mr Rama Rao spoke on how his government had always given importance to emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain and robotics. “We launched our Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy in 2016 in an attempt to a leader in emerging technologies. We formulated policy frameworks for blockchain, drones, cyber security and e-waste. Today, Telangana is ranked as one of the top states in blockchain in terms of adoption by government and on the presence of the ecosystem,” he said.
We are not playing Big Brother: KTR
IT and industries minister K.T. Rama Rao also addressed issues related to privacy. “People are getting paranoid about technology. They are afraid someone is snooping on them and violating their privacy. But they don’t realise they are already using machine learning and AI technologies. For instance, if you see the photos in some phones, they are arranged in albums according to the people in these photos,” he said.
However, he said, the government acknowledges these issues. “Recently, our IT secretary had announced that the government had 30 crore data sets of the 4 crore people in the state. This would be very useful for AI applications. However, a newspaper reporter took this to be us playing Big Brother. We are not. We only want to use this data to help the people,” he said.
“Through these technologies, we are merely trying to ensure that the exchequer’s money is not misutilised and government services are distributed in a smarter way [..] Rest assured, we will pay heed and ensure the privacy of each and every citizen,” he said.
The minister said AI could transform the future of many industries. “Twenty years ago, nobody thought IT would be this big. Today, similar things are being said about AI. We know how much the IT industry has grown in Hyderabad,” he said. Rama Rao explained that these applications would be crucial in helping the lives of people across the state....