Experts discuss advancements in AI, its role in driving social impact for inclusive development on the 2nd day of RAISE 2020

New Delhi: As many as 55 experts from across the world spoke in 10 sessions on the second day of RAISE 2020- ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020’summit, discussing themes like the role that artificial intelligence can play in powering financial inclusion, and its potential to empower over a billion Indians by helping build robust and ahead-of-the-curve public digital platforms.

Mr. Mohandas Pai led the day’s proceedings with a keynote address on data and AI-powered financial services. Mr. Pai highlighted the advantage that governments and organizations can get upon integrating AI into their systems.

“AI will dominate the core of the next exponential enterprises, rewriting the fundamentals of the establishment and this is the opportunity to capture. We are seeing that AI-first businesses are becoming monopolies,” he said.

In his address at the session, Mr. Dilip Asbe, MD and CEO of National Payments Corporation of India said AI is playing a catalytic role in driving financial inclusion in the country. “Financial services have been rule-based till date. However, financial institutions are using AI based technologies as ‘Decision Making Support’, which is helping us to really fast-pace the whole process,” he said.

Dr. Vivek Raghavan, Chief Product Manager and Biometric Architect, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) also spoke at the same session, underscoring the importance of scalability of AI in systems. He elaborated on the need to use open source infrastructure to develop AI-powered tools, and on the need to work on integrating AI solutions within the existing digital ecosystem.

“UIDAI is developing a face authentication system which will be available to all the Aadhaar holders. The goal is to make it extremely secure and make it available for all smartphone users in the country. The system can then be used by other financial service providers to strengthen their own AI ecosystem,” Dr. Raghavan said, while talking about a new service that UIDAI plans to develop using AI.

In his address, Mr. T. Rabi Sankar, Assistant GM, RBI talked about the imperatives for developing strong AI frameworks. “From a data standpoint, the key aspects for developing a robust AI framework are: Legality, efficiency and transparency of data sourcing, ensuring integrity, privacy and confidentiality of the data collected, responsible and accountable data access, and putting in place an organized data monetization framework.”

The role of AI in empowering over a billion people was the theme of the second session of the day, which was discussed by a specially-curated all-women panel. At the session, Ms. Anita Bhatia, Assistant Secretary-General for Resource Management, Sustainability and Partnerships and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women talked about access to AI for women.

“AI research is dominated almost entirely by men. Globally, only 22% of AI professionals are women. Now, after COVID 19 has led to rapid digitization, the need to focus on digital inclusion has never been clearer,” she said.

Ms. Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Person with Disabilities, Government of India, talked about the need to use AI to develop solutions for specially-abled people. “Disabilities can be permanent, temporary or situational. By innovating for people with disabilities, we are innovating for us all. By ensuring that technology fulfils its promise to address the broadest societal needs, we can empower everyone – not just individuals with disabilities – to achieve more,” she said.

At the same session, Ms. Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft, talked about how tools like captioning, and accessibility checker can use AI to help persons with disabilities. “We need to focus our efforts on developing AI that makes this world more inclusive, accessible and affordable for the especially-abled,” she said.

Jacqueline Kernot, Partner, Financial Services, Cyber Security, Ernst & Young, batted for access to AI to the youth. “With the advent of time and introduction of new technologies, technology must advance to ensure inclusion. Tech access must be given to the young as well,” she said.

Post this session, a fire-side chat was organized between Mr. Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & IT and Mr. Noshir Kaka, Senior Partner, McKinsey. The chat was on the theme of building public digital platforms using AI, and was moderated by Mr. J. Satyanarayana, Chief Advisor, C4IR India, World Economic Forum. During the chat, Mr. Kaka elaborated on how AI and data have touched agriculture and banking. He said AI has the power to deliver remarkable growth across sectors.

“The combination of AI and Data can deliver 10% of our USD 10 trillion economy aspiration, or USD 500 billion in value over the next 4-5 years. India is perhaps the only country in the world where the opportunity for AI in agriculture is as large as it is in banking,” Mr. Kaka said.

Responding to Mr. Kaka, Mr. Sawhney said India is in advanced stages of preparing the blue-print of a digital platform for agriculture. “AI services should aim to reach the last man in the queue and make lives easier. Further, we should move together as Team India and ensure the benefits of AI reach all farmers, students, healthcare personnel and the common man,” Mr. Sawhney said.

According to independent studies, AI has the potential to raise India’s annual growth rate by 1.3% and add USD 957 billion to the country’s economy by 2035.At a global level, AI is expected to unlock USD 15.7 trillion in productivity by 2030.

Mr. Satyanarayana hailed India’s IT prowess and said the country should continue to create public digital platforms using AI. “India should promote the creation of more public digital platforms to ensure inclusive economic growth. These platforms should aim to empower more and more people with opportunities, and India’s public and private sectors must come together to deliver innovative results,” he said.

As part of the summit, the Government of India organized the AatmaNirbhar Bharat AI Solution Challenge with the aim of promoting and showcasing innovative AI solutions developed by Indian start-ups. A total of 299 entries were received in this challenge in different categories. A selection of 21 of these solutions was showcased today to the global audience at the summit. The AI solutions featured were developed by nine startups from Karnataka, three startups from Delhi, two from Haryana, two from Maharashtra, and one startup each from Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Jharkhand and Kerala.

The summit also featured a session on education and awareness for responsible AI. Mr. Rahul Sharma, President, AISPL Public Sector, India and South Asia, Dr. Rahul Panicker, Chief Research & Innovation Officer, Wadhwani AI, Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, CTO, Microsoft India, and Mr. Kye Anderson, Strategist, Major Impact Initiatives, AI Sweden, among others, attended the session.

Later in the evening, addressing a session on the role of regulations for responsible AI, Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft Corporation lauded India’s efforts in creating a robust national AI strategy. “AI can revolutionize every part of the economy and accelerate economic growth. I think it is fair to say that between now and the middle of the century, India almost inevitably will become one of the world’s AI superpower,” he said.

RAISE 2020 is being organized between October 5 and 9. So far, more than 70,000 stakeholders from academia, the research industry and government representatives from 144 countries have registered to participate in the summit.

India is rapidly integrating artificial intelligence in all walks of life. India’s technological prowess and the richness of its data will help the country become the AI garage of the world, delivering cutting-edge technological solutions. The RAISE 2020 Summit ( serves as a platform for discussion and consensus building to help create a data-rich environment, which will help develop AI for the global community.