WILL INDIA’S AI MISSION CHANCE THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION?

With India’s AI programme, the government is planning to provide students with a platform to attain AI skills and give them access to relevant AI tools. The program would invest in setting up 20 institutional centers for AI projects and a cloud computing platform, AIRAWAT.

The government had launched the ‘Responsible AI for youth’ programme, which aimed to reduce students’ skill Gap and make them AI-efficient. This programme is for students from classes 8th to 12th in central and state government schools.

Students will be selected based on online training sessions and will be taught to identify ideas impacting social issues with AI. The top students will attend boot camps or online sessions for more profound AI principles. The AI programme is aligned with the new national education policy.

The government had launched ai.gov.in for all AI-related developments in the country. This includes information on startups, investment funds, resources, companies, education institutions, and other AI resources in India.

According to an economic times report, the ministry of electronics and information technology (Meity) is said to implement the mission in collaboration with Niti Aayog. Using the government grant, Meity will launch a national AI Portal, developing applications and implementing AI in heart and education.

NITI Aayog, however, will invest in setting up five research excellence centers, 20 institutional centers for transformational AI, and a cloud computing system, AIRAWAT. AIRAWAT is Indians first AI-specific cloud computing infrastructure, which would guide the research into emerging technologies and other development.

AIRAWAT will be established based on the national strategy for Artificial intelligence (NSAI) recommendations. Under AIRAWAT, the government plans to tackle the high impact challenges associated with lack of access to computing resources.

In the future, the government plans to build computer infrastructure for all the stakeholders involved in the AI research and application ecosystem, including startups, students, researchers, and government organizations.

INTERNET COULD SOON REACH REMOTE AREAS VIA ‘BALLOONS’ THAT NAVIGATE ON AI

While the world is rapidly running towards a digital era, countless people don’t have the money to even buy a smartphone and if they somehow arrange the money, well, they don’t have network connectivity to make use of the whole wide world of the Internet.

So, how we fix this? Google’s parent company Alphabet has a potential solution – a huge balloon! Yes, alphabet’s “Loon” division is now using dozens of floating balloons to provide internet to rural areas around the world.

Earlier this year, it launched its first commerical service in Kenya. Alastair Westgarth, Loon’s CEO, said that 4G LTE service will be provided to people in rural parts of Kenya via a fleet of around 35 balloons, covering an area of around 50,000 square kilometers across Western and Central areas of the country, including it’s capital, Nairobi.

So, how does this balloon work?

According to their official website, a loon flight system consists of three main components:

The balloon keeps the system aloft;

The ‘bus’ contains all the hardware required for navigation and safe operations;

They payload that’s mounted on the bus is essentially a floating a cell tower, housing all the communications equipment required to connect users below.

These tennis court-sized balloons are powered by solar panels and hover at a height of roughly 20 km. To navigate around the globe, these use Artificial intelligence which contains set of algorithms bother written and exceuted by a deep reinforcement learning based flight control system.

The AI uses historical weather patterns and current reports to decide if the balloon should rise or drop its altitude to find the best wind to maintain it’s position. In the near future, it might also track animal migration and climate change, according to the report in the journal nature.

They stop up in the air for over 100 days before coming back down to earth, thus acting as a “floating network of cell towers,” providing internet to vast lands where service is not available. Instead of delivering connectivity from the ground through cell towers and cables, or from space via satellite, loon says it is building a “third layer” in the stratosphere.

The company’s balloons have already provided internet connectivity in disaster hit areas such as in Peru after an earthquake in 2019. This is the first time that they have launched the project as part of a large scale commerical deployment.