Hyderabad: Entrepreneurs have welcomed the establishment of the National Centre on Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a hub along with Centres of Excellence announced by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in the Budget 2019-20 presentation on Friday.

The government focusing on AI in two consecutive budgets shows the importance with which this government views this key technology, Mr Goyal said, ‘In order to take the benefits of Artificial Intelligence and related technologies to the people, a National Programme on Artificial Intelligence has been envisaged by our Government.
This would be catalysed by the establishment of the National Centre on Artificial Intelligence as a hub along with Centres of Excellence. Nine priority areas have been identified. A National Artificial Intelligence portal will also be developed soon.’

Suman Reddy Eadunuri, MD, Pegasystems India in a statement said, ‘The industry is looking to understand how these institutions are creating a favourable environment to foster entrepreneurship or AI research, and how the investment is creating on-ground impact, helping enterprises and deep-tech start-ups to create market value. The national AI portal is a good move to facilitate the vision of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance as part of Vision 2030, being a catalyst for emerging technologies, and a platform to unite the efforts of a massive institution like the central government.’

While the Finance Minister’s announcement will give a thrust to digital solutions and new age technologies, there is a need for re-skilling, says Nasscom’s president, Debjani Ghosh.

‘It is great to see government’s continued support for new technologies like AI with the announcement of national centre and for AI. Equally important is the commitment to re-skill India’s youth for the new jobs that AAI will create,’ Mr Ghosh said.

According to Nasscom, AI has potential to add $957 billion to India’s economy by 2035. Such initiatives are likely to help achieve the goal faster. Aakrit Vaish, CEO and co-founder of Haptik said that with the announcement of the National Artificial Intelligence portal, ‘we expect India to be propelled on the path of leveraging advanced and disruptive technologies for economic prosperity and growth. We congratulate the government for this forward-looking budget.’ This announcement will significantly boost research and development in the field of Artificial Intelligence, said Atul Rai, CEO and co-founder of Staqu.

‘The government has been banking on digital technologies such as AI, machine learning, big data and more. Thus, in the interim budget we had expected a significant boost by the government. We are glad of the government’s plan to develop a National Artificial Intelligence portal, which will significantly boost research and development measures in the field of AI,’ Mr Rai said.

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