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The second seminar in the series of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain for efficient Public Services Delivery was held on 2nd May, 2019 in Bangalore. This event series is an Ananta Centre and knowledge partner KPMG association to enable an open dialogue on two highly influential contemporary technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain and their potential to create efficiencies in public services delivery for India.

The purpose of the seminar was to engage the community of citizens, users, solution providers, start-ups, domain experts and government in a discussion to create awareness, share knowledge and discuss potential ways in which AI and Blockchain can be used in various aspects of public services such as Public Health, Education, Agriculture and its various aspects, Smart Mobility including Transport and Logistics, Manufacturing, Disaster Management.

The first in the series was held in Mumbai on 17th December, 2018 being the launch event for the series, where key AI case studies were presented and discussed by key stakeholders from the industry and economy.

The second event in the series in Bangalore city was a success with imminent practitioners and thought leaders from the digital space sharing their point of view and ideas on the impending uses and next steps with respect to the theme of the event. The seminar had over 100 participants from various walks of the economy such as Academia, Agriculture, Startups and Technology sectors whose active participation was key to the success of the event.

The event involved the community in a way that it facilitated an inaugural session followed by focused sessions on AI and Blockchain respectively that discussed unique and potential use cases and success stories followed by panel discussions and open forum to engage in a dialogue on the transformational potential of these technologies in citizen services attempting to demystify inquiries around them.

Highlights:-

Inaugural Session

  • Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Depart of Biotechnology and Science and technology, Govt. of Karnataka spoke on how AI and Blockchain, two separate technologies have the common denominator of being contemporary technologies that are revolutionary and are already being used in many initiatives by the Govt. of Karnataka. The focus should be on “What” is the problem that one is trying to solve with these technologies and which is the “domain” in which they can be applied.

  • T Parabrahman, Ex-Chairman, CII Karnataka, enlightened the audience with his experience in the capital goods industry where people adopted and adapted to working in new ways with the transition and introduction of new technology based machines and how AI and Blockchain would have the same effect on people. The key with these technologies, he opined is how to gather, store and use data with everyone impacted willing to be open to de-learn and then re-learn.

  • Vishwesh Padmanabhan, Partner, Digital – Management Consulting spoke on how technologies like AI and Blockchain play a very significant role in today’s era and can contribute to easier and better living. He also emphasized on the fact that skills required for working with technologies like AI and Blockchain will be just as important as the skills for working on these technologies. The focus should be to create an environment where innovative start-ups can succeed and generate inclusive, economic benefits for all.

  • Shalini Pillay, Office Managing Partner, Bangalore, KPMG in India spoke to the audience in her address to how important it is to demystify contemporary technologies and determinewhat is the problem these technologies are trying to solve and its core objective.

 

Session 1: Artificial Intelligence for efficiency in Public Service Delivery

This focused session on AI was opened by Mr. Uday Sanghani, Head, Intelligent Automation and Cognitive Solution, KPMG in India who introduced the audience to the various ways in which AI is being adopted and its top usages in key domains in India.

  • Key Presenters:
    • Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, NVIDIA
    • Peter Gartenberg, MD and President – Indian subcontinent, Blue Prism
    • Nipun Mehrotra, Ex-Chief Digital Officer, IBM India Pvt. Ltd.
    • Mohanakrishnan P, Head CoE, DS and AI, NASSCOM
    • Kunal Prasad, Co-Founder & COO, Cropin Technology

Key Take Away:-

  • Highly important to empower people to drift through software defined and data driven environment as software in the new age is all in beta with the beginning of the end of shrink wrapped software. The onus lies on leaders to strategize heavily around how to analyse, prepare, curate, validate and simulate huge amounts of data and bring it to production. With the ImageNet movement waiting to happen to Natural Language Processing and Data science slated to become the fourth pillar of scientific methods fusing all the other threemethods to achieve things, AI will not only be able to predict but will be able to discover faster and compress time.

  • AI has been around for the past 50 to 60 years and it is essential to start to work with it and would be left underutilized if not exploited for public services delivery. Resources can be efficiently utilized for agriculture where India has been consuming nearly 95% of the available water resource for agricultural purposes and how using this technology can enable price estimation of crop based various parameters based on a pilot conducted in Karnataka.

  • New services like cognitive services that AI offers intersect with RPA and easily permeate into any organizational environment. Public sector usually is short of human capacity to carry out all services and with its expanding service window, it is a huge potential area for AI related use cases. For India, applying these technologies immediately in large scale and utilizing Indian ingenuity may let India reach world leadership in the application of AI.

  • Government will potentially be the biggest consumer of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence. AI can be used to explore automated solutions for the citizens to foster their participation in governance, enable better governance & address citizen issues. Easy adoption and effectiveness of these use cases are dependent on how well AI can address India’s diversity challenge.

  • Typical challenges that Indian farmers experience with relation to finance and access to inputs, advisory and markets can be addressed intelligently though AI. Recent changes in climatic conditions have impacted agriculture and based on real case studies, AI can help gather singular issues for each farmer and provide solutions to relieve the stress of the farmer and provide specific advices from AI platforms. Planning aspects of production, logistics and supply of crop can be made more fruitful with AI also helpingCrop cutting experiments to be more efficient. To ensure larger share to farmers’ income, technologies like AI and Blockchain should target to reduce inefficiency, bring in transparency for crop traceability and create credibility to ease opportunities for going global.

 Session 2: Blockchain for efficiency in Public Service Delivery

This focused session on Blockchain was opened by Mr. Manish Jain, Partner - FinTech, KPMG in India who spoke to the audience about blockchain technology, its benefits in public delivery and various use cases being adopted globally and in India

  • Key Presenters:
    • Mahesh Govind, Co-Founder, DigiLedge
    • Prashant Surana Jain, Founder, Snapper FutureTech
    • Rea Achalkar, Director – Director-CEO, VeriDoc Global India
    • Ankit Ratan, Founder, Signzy

Key Take Away:-

  • Blockchain and distributed ledger technology is set to revolutionize industries. World Economic Forum expects Blockchain to hit mainstream, accounting for 10% of Global GDP in the next 10 years.

  • There are two types of blockchain networks—public chains that create trusted transaction networks between entities that do not know or trust each other, and private networks that are only between known entities. Public blockchains offer tremendous opportunity for India across four dimensions, jobs, capital, solutions to India’s problems and global strategic positioning.

  • India’s public sector is fast emerging as a large consumer of Blockchain technology. The government is playing an important role not only as a regulator but also as a consumer of Blockchain solutions in India.

  • Currently, 40+ Blockchain initiatives are being executed by the public sector in India, with ~92% in pilot/POC phase and ~8% projects in the production phase. For example, the government of Andhra Pradesh is working with Zebi data for blockchain-based solutions in land registry. The government is also partnering with Hitachi to set up an online citizen governance platform.

  • Start-up community in India is working on various blockchain based solutions focusing on supply chain, e-governance, healthcare and BFSI/Others.

Stay Tuned:

This session reaffirmed our faith that AI and Blockchain can revolutionize and redefine the way Government engages with citizens thereby re wire the Government to Citizen services delivery model.

A clear, formalised objective driven policy formulation based on real requirement is of paramount importance for successful deployment. Setting up a healthy eco system of startups, technology solution providers, CoEs , regulators and end users is a primary responsibility of the Government. Conceptualizing AI & Blockchain literacy programmes for citizens through education groups, media and civil society groups will help the government to make more legitimate use of these technologies. Identifying the right mix of current and future skills and reskilling the existing workforce are critical to scale up and reap the full potential of adoption. Alongside the Government will need to bolster their data management capabilities. Ensuring availability of accurate and reliable datasets including external data is essential to deliver the right decisions.

Government needs to focus its attention on putting in place policies and programmes to build trust, transparency and address regulatory challenges. Continual engagement and soliciting feedback from citizens help to build citizen support for these technology initiatives.

The upcoming seminars in the series of AI and Blockchain for efficient public services delivery will be held soon in different cities with the objective to gather, share, learn, converse and seek opportunities to collaborate in taking Indian governance a step further.

May 20, 2019

 

 

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