The Defence Minister launched 75 Artificial Intelligence products/technologies during ‘AI in Defence’ symposium in New Delhi.
India’s defence dynamics are constantly advancing through technology and innovation. In a recent step-up towards the same, the first ever ‘AI in Defence’ (AIDef) symposium and exhibition was organised by the Ministry of Defencein New Delhi on July 11, 2022. During the event, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched 75 newly-developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) products/technologies. The products, were launched as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the celebrations marking 75 years of India’s independence.
Three AI products developed by the DPSUs with dual use applications and good market potential were screened during the event.
These include AI Platform Automation; Autonomous/Unmanned/Robotics systems; Block Chain-based Automation; Command, Control, Communication, Computer & Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance; Cyber Security; Human Behavioural Analysis; Intelligent Monitoring Systems; Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems; Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Operational Data Analytics; Manufacturing and Maintenance; Simulators/Test Equipment and speech/voice analysis using Natural Language Processing.
The Minister described AI as a revolutionary step in the development of humanity; a proof that a human being is the most evolved creature in the universe. He was amazed that a human mind has not only created/reproduced knowledge, but is developing intelligence that creates knowledge. He also released the physical as well as e-version of the book comprising the details of these 75 products. It highlighted the collective efforts of the Services, Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) start-ups and the private industry during last four years in the field of AI.
AI is already making way in a wide variety of sectors including defence, health & medicine, agriculture, trade & commerce and transport.
Three AI products developed by the DPSUs with dual use applications and good market potential, namely AI-enabled Voice Transcription/Analysis software developed by Bharat Electronics Limited; Driver Fatigue Monitoring System developed by Bharat Earth Movers Limited and AI-enabled evaluation of Welding defects in X-rays of Non-destructive Testing developed by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers were screened during the event. The government expects these products to open up new business avenues for the Defence PSUs.
The Minister called upon all the defence stakeholders to enhance the jointness of human consciousness and the ability of AI to bring a radical change in the sector. He acknowledged the capability of AI-enabled military devices in handling large amounts of data efficiently and its aid in training the soldiers. When it comes to AI, it is already making way in a wide variety of sectors including defence, health & medicine, agriculture, trade & commerce and transport. AI-enabled and AI-led applications are needed to ensure social welfare & national security and making India a ‘Global Hub for AI’, underlined Singh echoing Prime Minister Modi’s vision.
Apart from the launch, the AIDef featured an exhibition showcasing the cutting-edge AI-enabled solutions developed by the Services, research organisations, industry and start-ups & innovators.
Apart from the launch, the AIDeffeatured an exhibition showcasing the cutting-edge AI-enabled solutions developed by the Services, research organisations, industry and start-ups & innovators. Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar informed that besides the 75 products launched at the event, another 100 are in various stages of development.He emphasised on the need to encourage the use of AI in defence to make all efforts in this direction to ensure that the Armed Forces are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Several MoUs have also been signed with the industry for faster promotion of AI applications in the Services.
The event also witnessed panel discussions on ‘Deploying AI in Defence’, ‘GenNext AI solutions’ and ‘AI in Defence – Industry Perspective’, with active participation from the Services, academia, students, research organisations and Industry.A ‘GenNext AI’ Solutions Competition wasorganised to get bright innovative ideas from students on futuristic AI solutions.
Defence Minister acknowledged the capability of AI-enabled military devices in handling large amounts of data efficiently and its aid in training the soldiers.
Defence Minister Singh asserted that weapons/systems are being developed, keeping in mind the crucial role AIcan play in future warfare. “We have started incorporation of AI applications in remote piloted, unmanned aerial vehicles etc. There is a need to move further in this direction so that we can develop autonomous weapon systems. Timely infusion of technologies like AI & Big Data in the defence sector is of utmost importance, so that we are not left behind the technological curve and are able to take maximum advantage of technology for our services,” he said.
The Ministry also informed about the many AI-related challenges under the iDEX initiatives. The challenges are under domains like Radio Frequency Spectrum Management, Underwater Domain Awareness, Satellite Image Analysis and Friend or Foe Identification System. In accordance with the vision of MoD to achieve defence exports of 35,000 crore by 2025 and provide boost to the domestic industry, ‘Raksha Niryat Ratna’ awards were conferred on Bharat Electronics Limited from the public sector and on Indo-MIM from the private sector for achieving highest defence exports in recent years.
Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar informed that besides the 75 products launched at the event, another 100 are in various stages of development.
“Russia is a technologically advanced country and is continuously progressing in the field of Science & Technology. On AI, Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin had said ‘Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world’. Although India believes in the principle of ‘VasudhaivaKutumbakam’ (the whole world is one family) and has no intention to rule the world, we must develop the capability of our AI technology so that no country can even think of ruling us,” said Singh.
MoD research platforms, DRDO and DPSUs are providing support to various institutes in pursuing cutting edge AI research. Several Defence-Industry-Academia Centres of Excellence have been established across the country and AI finds prominence in the charters of many of them, informed the official release.
“Our country is full of scientific & technologically trained youth who have innovative minds and the desire to contribute to Nation Building. In such a situation, we will move towards fulfilling the technological needs of our nation as well as the world in the times to come. Although the mandate of the organisations of MoD is to develop futuristic technologies for the Armed Forces, its spin-off benefits will also be available to the civilians,” said Singh.
“Although India believes in the principle of ‘VasudhaivaKutumbakam’ (the whole world is one family) and has no intention to rule the world, we must develop the capability of our AI technology so that no country can even think of ruling us,” said Rajnath Singh.
The Defence Minister also emphasised on the need to think about humanity and world peace along with one’s own defence& security. He underlined the need to think about the ethics of AI and its potential dangers at an early stage. Whenever a new technology is introduced, it takes time for the society to adapt to it and in this transition period, a challenging situation sometimes arises. “Since AI is a technology that brings about a massive change, we have to be prepared in advance for any legal, ethical, political and economic challenges. We should look at the future of AI with a positive attitude, but remain prepared as well. We have to use this technology for the welfare, development and peace of humanity. We must work towards ensuring its democratic use,” he said.
On July 10,2022, the IAF Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence under the aegis of UDAAN was also inaugurated.
A day prior to AIDef, on July 10,2022, the IAF Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence under the aegis of UDAAN (Unit for Digitisation, Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Application Networking) was also inaugurated by Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) at Air Force Station Rajokri, New Delhi. The Ministry stated that a Big Data Analytics and Al Platform has been commissioned in the IAF's Al Centre, for handling all aspects of Analytics, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Neural Networks and Deep Learning algorithms.