Dismissing the fear of unemployment due to artificial intelligence (AI), Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has said AI would create more jobs and help in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. “On the contrary, it will create even more jobs and not just that, it will repair and solve ma-ny problems. Artificial intelligence has the power to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor,” he said at a panel discussion on Governance and Artificial Intelligence with Vice Premier of Quebec Dominique Anglade in Montreal.
The technology could also help in facilitating the reach of health services to remote areas, he said.
Fadnavis said that due to the information asymmetry in India between the rich and the poor, he proposes to use artificial intelligence tools for access to basic services.
“Health services can be provided in remote villages using artificial intelligence-powered diagnostic tools like retinal photography and its transmission via internet to centrally located doctors,” he said.
Artificial intelligence is an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.
The chief minister also spoke about the death of several farmers in the state’s Yavatmal district last year while spraying pesticides in their fields.
Start-ups were now showing a way out by using drones and artificial intelligence for the purpose, he said.
The chief minister also spoke about the use of technology in service delivery and to bring sustainability in the era of climate change. “Technology is like a horse, one has to take control of it and ride it. Once you start riding it, it will be at your service,” he said, while elaborating the government's role as a facilitator in the use of technology.
The Maharashtra government also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fonds de recherche du Qubec - Nature et Technologies, to form an international working group on agriculture for crop disease eradication, use of artificial intelligence for agricultural technologies and soil management.
Fonds de recherche du Quebec - Nature et Technologies is a nature and technologies researchers group under the Government of Qubec and a combination of various universities. Fadnavis also attended a Canada-India Business Council (CIBC) reception hosted by its CEO Kasi Rao at Quebec.
Along with the potential and growth story of Maharashtra in all sectors, Fadnavis spoke on how a 'third Mumbai' is in the offing with the new urban agglomeration between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The chief minister also spoke about the first smart industrial corridor and AURIC smart city.
Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC) is a greenfield smart industrial city being developed across nearly 7,900 acres as part of Shendra Bidkin Industrial Area. It is collectively a part of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).
“India and Maharashtra are progressing and expanding with more opportunities. It is time to once again think to invest with the same energy in Maharashtra,” Fadnavis said, appealing Indian investors from Canada to visit, invest and explore the state.
Maharashtra will become a trillion dollar economy by 2029 but the government intends to achieve it by 2025 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisages to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy, and the state has the biggest role to play in this process, Fadnavis said.