Oak Times Bureau November 1, 2017

V. J. Reji Vasanth (Sree)

The world is marching ahead with ambitious mega projects in Robotics & Artificial intelligence (AI). It is high time to know a country like India which has a vast reservoir of skilled manpower and being the world’s largest sourcing destination for the Information Technology (IT) industry and who employs about 10 million workforces in this sector. We are living in the Information age and it is our responsibility to understand and suggest what all steps our government has taken for entering the silent epoch-making revolution happening across the globe in the Robotics & Artificial intelligence (AI).
We Indian should take the lesson how a 27-year-old Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama has been announced as the Minister of Artificial Intelligence in United Arab Emirates. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA – the Pentagon’s, United States research arm activities on creating a militarized avatar project, serving as a soldiers surrogate on the battlefield and The Russian Project – for missions in the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity – Creating a new Era of Humanity.
Artificial intelligence (AI) versus humans (Machine vs Mind) is a debate that has already taken spot in the mainstream discussions across the globe. A country like India with population 1,343,070,095 as of October 2017, based on the latest United Nations estimates. How we are going to approach such a situation is should be closely monitored. The race to build computers that can think like humans or more powerful than humans how it is going to impact our life is another angle which should be considered much seriously.
The Technological revolution – Nano Technology,  Bio Technology, Information Technology, Cognitive Technology, Genetics and Robotics will allow finding new sources of energy. The future of Robotics opens up a plethora of opportunities in India. It is a multidisciplinary engineering field. One gets to understand the integration of mechanical, electrical, electronic as well as computer science disciplines in this field. The industries across a range of sectors such as automotive, atomic energy, defence, space, metals, textiles and manufacturing use Robotic technologies very extensively even operation theatres to various streams to augment the quality of life. As per the statistics of The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) the estimated yearly shipment of the number of units of multipurpose industrial robots which is forecasted to be supplied by China will be 1,60,000  whereas India is expected to supply 6,000 by 2019. This statistics gives us a clear picture of where India is positioned in the global map.
However many developing nations are still to adopt robotics and automation in a big way.  Among the many challenges that plague the Robotics field in India, the primary ones among them have to do with. ⦁ The cost of adopting Robotic technology is very high due to the cost of procuring imported hardware components.⦁ The Availability of skilled talent that specializes in the many disciplines such as electrical, embedded, software and mechanical that make up Robotics and retaining quality talent.⦁ The scarcity of skilled Training faculty to teach the subject from an academic perspective.⦁ Robotics as a subject is not taught well to the engineering students the absence of hardware companies that can cater to them and the dependence on countries like China, USA and Europe to procure the necessary components as a major stumbling block. ⦁ We are lagging in building a consortium of organizations & Lack of government initiatives.
On the other side the government of India is much concerned on the impact of Artificial intelligence (AI) versus humans to a country like India. Whether machines take our jobs, new jobs are created or machines only take some of our jobs or machines take our jobs, we design new machines. This is a very sensitive matter on which detailed studies should be made taking into consideration our social, economical and political situations.
I would also like to remind the Anti-computer protests during the 1980. During the early                    1980s, Indian companies were not even computerized. The Labor unions were protesting against computerization on the grounds that technology would displace jobs Three decades after the leftists famously led the protests against the introduction of computers in banks but how can you stop modern technology? Nowadays, they have understood openly termed the action as “foolish”The Honorable President of India Ram Nath Kovind laid foundation for the first government IT building at Technocity at Pallippuram marking the launch of Technocity during the same leftists government. We have entered a century where industries will be talent-based. Hence it is the need of the hour to adapt cutting edge technologies which will change the outlook of the society, giving welfare to the people of all walks of life. If we decide nation first, people first we all have an open mind to adapt and master the new innovations – Space Science, Nano Technology,  Bio Technology, Information Technology which will help the coming generations of our nation compete with the world power. The Robotics & Artificial intelligence (AI) is another innovation like Computerization in India.It is time now for a country like India to have its National Vision Project “to take initiative in developing a Vision document / National policy for the future of Robotics in India “Vision 2050 Project (Robotic Technology)”, to establish Indian Robotics Research Organization (IRRO) which will boost the future of Robotics Research in India and IIRT (Indian Institute of Robotic Technology) a Professional academic wing which will indirectly boost the Indian Robotics Research Organization (IRRO) growth.”
We need to bring the Robotic Technology out from the Information and Communication Technology (Technology Vision 2035) similarly the resources from the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) which should be utilized for the Indian Robotic Technological explorations. This suggestion can make a great leap for exploring the plethora of opportunities in India Robotic Technology & Artificial intelligence (AI) and to compete over nation with the world powers in Robotic Technology & Artificial intelligence (AI) in the years to come.
A bold decision by our Government of India will change the future of our nation’s vision in Robotics & Artificial intelligence (AI). It will bring a great boom like the Information Technology revolution which has brought in the lives of the millions of people directly and indirectly in our nation. We are witnessing a silent epoch making revolution which will change the future of a nation.
Author is Chairman & Managing DirectorMibiz Technologies Pvt Ltdwww.mibizgroup.com

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