Welcome to Alumni & Corporate Relations

Google grants $1 million to IIT-Madras AI research centre

Google grants $1 million to IIT-Madras AI research centre

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-Madras) joins a league of global institutions such as Stanford and MIT in hosting its own research centre to explore the fair and ethical development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Google announced an investment of $1 million in the form of grants to IIT Madras to establish what it called as “India’s first multidisciplinary centre” for responsible AI.

This is part of the tech giant’s commitment towards developing responsible use cases of AI, and Google said that the research center would bring together researchers, domain experts, developers, community members, policy makers and others to “get AI right” and also localize it to the Indian context.

B Ravindran, the head of Robert Bosch Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBC-DSAI) at IIT-Madras, told TOI that the multi-disciplinary quality of the centre made it unique and would help bring varied perspectives to India’s approach towards AI.

“AI today is already mainstream and being deployed by government and industry in various critical areas; this makes a multi-stakeholder approach essential and we will have technologists, sociologists, policy and legal experts initiating dialogue,building resources, and bringing out research on responsible use of AI,” he said.

While Google is the first of the big techs to back this centre, IIT-M has also received interest from other large industry players to be involved in such a centre. “Government body NITI Aayog too has already communicated its interest to be involved,” Ravindran said.

While AI use is quickly gaining ground across industries and governments for better efficiency, the social impact of some use cases have come up for debate and also created issues. For instance, AI use by law enforcement in the West has been found to show prejudice towards certain races due to inadequate data sets. “With AI systems going to be deciding on loan applications in the future, there needs to be some explanatory mechanism to understand its decisions and ensure it is fair,” Ravindran said. The centre would also help in better data sets for the AI systems
to ensure equity, he added.

Stanford’s Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence centre (HAI) is one such initiative globally, and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has the MIT RAISE (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education) centre for similar purposes. In India, the issue of responsible AI has been explored and initiated in the past by industry body Nasscom. NITI Aayog too has put out discussion papers on the topic.

Original News Link