Avatar-like creatures debut in Kashmir

June 15, 2023

SRINAGAR: Imagine an Avatar-like creature in Kashmir!

Well, this is not a fairytale anymore. Thanks to Manzoor Ahmad Dar, a VFX designer who is all set to start the first-of-its-kind Artificial Intelligence (AI) institute to train youngsters in new technology.

A foreign-educated techie who has made a mark in AI and Machine Learning (ML) in the Middle East is trying to give back his share of knowledge to the place which made him a celebrity at the international level.

“AI is the future. We want our youngsters to make the most out of it. That is why I am setting up an institute where I will train young Kashmiris in VFX, graphic designing, AI, and ML,” Dar told The Kashmir Monitor.

Hailing from Srinagar, Dar was among the few Kashmiris who received training in high-end VFX and GFX in films. After his training, he left for Dubai where he worked with leading film and software companies.

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Later he came back to Kashmir to share the knowledge with youngsters. For three years he worked at Kashmir University before he decided to go back.

“I went to Kuwait and worked there for some years. I worked for bigger companies and acquired deeper knowledge. Earlier it was television and then came the digital era. Later social media revolutionized the entire gamut of things. So focus shifted on AI, ML, and other tools,” he said.

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Come 2023, he decided to return this time with a pledge to serve Kashmir even if it means little or no success. “Since it requires a huge infrastructure, I started with a modest beginning. I got high-end computers and other accessories to start my bay. I have zeroed in on a place in the old city where I will be setting up the institute,” he said.

Dar has collaborated with the world’s top VFX and GFX designers who would be teaching the youngsters online. “It will be a hybrid system.  Our foreign experts will be delivering lectures online. I will be holding classes in physical mode. And there will be scheduled for foreign experts who would communicate with the students online,” he said.

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