Bennett University unleashes AI Programme to reach the masses

Artificial Intelligence

The project regarding AI has been funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering in London through the Indo-UK Newton-Bhabha research fund.

The Bennett University on Tuesday kick-started a Deep Learning and AI Skilling and Research project, which aims to impart training in artificial intelligence technologies to nearly one million students in two years.

Skeleton of the Programme

Recently while launching the programme on campus, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) chairperson professor Anil Sahasrabudhe said the programme was in line with the regulatory body’s ongoing efforts to update curricula in various varsities and institutions to include the expanding fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics.

While BU has partnered with international institutions like the Brunel University in London and University College London for technical expertise, it plans to work with 1,000 higher education institutions in India to train their academics and researchers. They can also take advantage of BU’s one-of-a-kind in-house supercomputing facility, which has been set up in partnership with American technology company Nvidia.

Training Programme

Ultimately, through various channels, the project is expected to reach one million students, Dr Deepak Garg, director, Nvidia-Bennett Research Center on Artificial Intelligence told TOI. “At its full scale, the project involves the resources of around Rs 100 million including cash, kind and human contributions from the partners. Further up-scaling is underway,” said Garg. Sahasrabudhe called it an “excellent hub-and-spoke model” which can produce “solutions for global problems from India.As part of this research and training project, BU will partner with 10 “collaborator institutions” at the primary level, along with a hundred “zonal partners” from across the country. These are projected to reach 1,000 colleges, 10,000 teachers who will be part of formal training programmes through partnerships and workshops.”

Practical instances

Some examples of AI and machine-learning include text prediction on smart phone keyboards that guess the next word one would possibly type, or even the recommendation engines on video-streaming services or e-commerce websites. Other kinds of applications include crunching data from weather patterns and other environmental factors to predict pest attacks and crop yields for farmers. An optimum period for crop sowing by analyzing historic climate data across 30 years has been calculated in Andhra Pradesh, India along the similar lines of the project.. “We are witnessing a dramatic opportunity to confront these problems head-on with AI technologies,” said Dr Ghanta Subba Rao, special secretary for skill development with Andhra Pradesh government. A great support has been granted to the BU project by the state government.

Prospect of the Project

The project is an opportunity to develop these tools in-house,” said Suneet Tuli, dean, School of Engineering at Bennett University. The central government too has recognised the need to encourage the development of artificial intelligence education. The Niti Aayog is expected to soon come out with a national policy on AI, with a focus on areas like agriculture and health. “Today we depend on AI tools from outside the country”.

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