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India to be among fastest adopters of AI based services, says COAI

New Delhi: Telecom industry body COAI said that India will be one of the early adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) based services.

AI is a crucial enabler for achieving the national goals in the areas of healthcare, education and capacity building, COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said in a statement.

“With a positive ecosystem, driven by better connectivity and a financially robust sectoral health, AI will unveil possibilities hitherto unparalleled,” he said on the World Telecom and Information Society Day.

UN telecom body ITU, in its message, said: “Enabling the positive use of Artificial Intelligence for All is the theme of WTISD-18 and will focus on the potential of AI to accelerate the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”

The recently released draft of the new telecom policy, branded as National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) – 2018 , has also proposed provisions to encourage AI.

It lists “creating a roadmap for emerging technologies and its use in the communications sector, such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and M2M” as the strategy to achieve goals set under the proposed policy.

Mathews said the draft NDCP 2018, will be the forebearer for next generation technologies, which will provide the country a roadmap for socio-economic progress.

He said: “The NDCP 2018 recognises spectrum as a natural resource and therefore will ensure adequate availability, efficient usage and putting together a fair and transparent allocation method for service providers. “Having taken cognizance of the steep cost of spectrum, the policy has also suggested for adopting optimal pricing to ensure sustainable and affordable access to digital communication.”

He said that over Rs 10.4 lakh crore has been invested so far by telecom operators in building infrastructure in the country. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said: “Telecom service providers have already established infrastructure related blue-print for services ranging from 3G to 4G, now they are taking adequate measures to build the foundation for emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, IoT, M2M.”