WEF Davos 2023: Indian economy digitising at a very rapid pace, says Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

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WEF Davos 2023: Indian economy digitising at a very rapid pace, says Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

India has adopted digital technologies like fish takes to water, said Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister Of Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology. Every aspect of India’s economy is today digitalising at a very rapid pace, said the minister in a conversation with Business Today Executive Director Rahul Kanwal at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“We believe that India stack has made a fundamental difference in people’s lives, empowering them, giving them the new tools, and that will be further strengthened by artificial intelligence (AI). One of the quickest wins is we integrated our Bhashini language AI tool, which translates from one Indian language to another Indian language in real time. Spoken, text everything. We integrated that with ChatGPT and are seeing very good results. Somebody in the hinterland of India can ask a question in Hindi to ChatGPT. ChatGPT finds the answer and actually gives the answer back in spoken Hindi. So that kind of possibilities are there. Yes, there will be many more serious applications like in cybersecurity, healthcare, multiple sectors. Probably as AI grows, this is the time to be curious, time to make sure that we are open-minded, time to make sure that we are reflective upon what AI can do for the society,” explained minister Vaishnaw.

In this conversation, Minister Vaishnaw was joined by Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO & MD, TCS, who said, “What we’ve seen is that the moment a new digital technology is made available, its rate of adoption, both in society as well as industry has always surprised us. The extent of technology leverage has been continuously increasing. But we still believe that we are at the very early stages of truly using technology to transform many of the value chains in multiple industries and in other social areas. So, any such tool that actually accelerates that technology adoption process, I think is a huge benefit that benefits society, and we need to understand it. We need to be able to incorporate it into our service delivery.”

As artificial intelligence has most often been something held out in a distant future, Brad Smith, Vice Chair And President, Microsoft said, “We really started to recognise last year, as we worked with open AI, that it’s really this relationship that we’ve been building for several years. Two years ago, we wouldn’t have thought we would see this advancement till 2033. The future appears to have been pulled forward by a decade. I think the first thing we should recognise is that people will develop creative uses for this that none of us have yet imagined.”

Today, India has a large infrastructure which is totally digitalised. For instance, the entire railway network, power sectors are fully digitalised. Even the shipping lines are all dependent upon digital infrastructure. That puts a heavy weight on cyber security tools the country has deployed, which with the help of AI, India is taking forward to strengthen its cybersecurity efforts.

Explaining how AI can be deployed in cybersecurity, minister Vaishnaw said, “Cybersecurity is an evolving area. Daily, we find new types of threats. So, the AI tools that we have developed are helping us thwart billions of attacks on a daily basis from certain geographies. Millions of attacks are successfully being countered daily, using some very modern, very advanced tools that we have deployed.” While the minister didn’t share any details about the tools, he did highlight that most of these tools deployed have been developed within the country.

Also read: Davos 2023: India is fast emerging as renewable energy equipment manufacturing hub, says power minister

Also read: WEF Davos 2023: Will build regulation based on experience, says Ashwini Vaishnaw on possible misuse of ChatGPT


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