India should not be participant but steer AI revolution: G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant

Citing industry body Nasscom, Kant said 70% of Indian startups prioritise AI to drive their growth, thus underscoring the critical role of AI in the startup ecosystem

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Amitabh Kant

Amitabh Kant

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New Delhi: India should not just participate but steer the ongoing AI revolution, and mobilise the powerful technology to bring the nation to the forefront of the global stage, the country's G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said on Thursday.

"We're truly in a unique moment with the ongoing AI revolution. Its relentless advancing capabilities across the board, its increasing adoption by citizens, and most importantly, its potential to redefine the very fabric of industry and society marks this as a transformative era," the former NITI Aayog CEO said at the Global IndiaAI Summit here.

Citing industry body Nasscom, Kant said 70% of Indian startups prioritise AI to drive their growth, thus underscoring the critical role of AI in the startup ecosystem.

"India proudly holds the position of having the second highest number of GitHub AI projects globally, accounting for 19% of worldwide AI projects. This demonstrates a vibrant and active engagement in AI development on an international scale.”

"As we embrace this revolution, the question before us is not merely how we can participate but how we can lead the world. It is our opportunity and indeed our responsibility to harness this powerful technology to propel Indian companies to the forefront of the global stage," he said.

Kant, 68, said this is a moment to redefine what it means to be a leader and demonstrate that Indian startup enterprises are not just participants in this revolution, but are driving it with vigour, and vision.

"For me, strategic integration, AI-led data analytics, core R&D, ethics and governance are critical. Just as the first industrial revolution gave birth to various industries with the introduction of the steam engine, AI has the potential to revolutionise multiple sectors in India," he said.

Establishing AI integration across sectors like healthcare, logistics, agriculture, and FMCG is akin to laying down the foundational infrastructure of the steam-based power industry, he said.

"In healthcare, AI can significantly enhance diagnostic accuracy and patient care efficiency, directly impacting patient outcome and healthcare delivery," Kant said.

He went on to elaborate on how AI can help transform logistics by streamlining supply chain operations and said rather than adopting a generalised approach, the key lies in developing customised AI solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of each sector.

To ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of these AI applications, Kant said, it is important to analyse the objectives of enterprises and align them with AI capabilities.

To maintain a competitive edge globally, Indian businesses must fully leverage the stack of AI-driven data, he said.

On the government's procurement of 10,000 GPUs within the next 18-24 months, Kant said it is a strategic investment that will dramatically boost India's processing power, aligning its resources with its data generation capabilities.

"It is imperative that Indian enterprises do not merely consume at the frontier of productivity, we must lead it. We are presented with a defining opportunity that arises only once in a generation," Kant stressed.

The AI revolution confronts us with its own set of challenges, including biases, data security, and ethical use, he said.

Kant further said a proactive approach is essential for shaping a future where AI is trusted and ethical. 

G20 Amitabh Kant