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Indian Defence Ministry Exploring Incorporating AI Into Military Capabilities

Image courtesy of Flickr.

As the geopolitical race to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) intensifies, the Indian Minister of State for Defence has stated that New Delhi is actively exploring the use of AI in Indian national security.

Subhash Bhamre, Minister of State for Defence, told the Lok Sabha (Indian Parliament) that the ministry has initiated the process of preparing Indian defence forces in their use of Artificial Intelligence and leveraging India’s capabilities in machine learning sectors, as it considers the military use of AI for national security and military strategic purposes. Bhamre said that AI has potential to fuel technology-driven economic growth and provide military superiority.

As such, the Indian government is studying a report recommending the use of AI technology in aviation, naval, land systems, cyber, nuclear, and biological warfare. This report was prepared by a task force of experts convened by the government to study the strategic implications of Artificial Intelligence on national security.

This multi-stakeholder task force includes government, military services, academia, industry professionals ,and start-ups. Led by Natarajan Chandrasekharan, chairman of Tata and Sons, and first convened in February 2018, the group was asked to prepare a road map for Artificial Intelligence for national security purposes.

The task force submitted its report on 30 June 2018 after studying the level of Artificial Intelligence development in India in general, and specifically in the context of defence needs. It has made recommendations toward the goal of making India a significant power in Artificial Intelligence for both defensive and offensive needs, Bhamre said.

The task force also made recommendations for policy and institutional interventions that would help regulate and encourage the development of robust Artificial Intelligence-based technologies for the defence sector in India. Since most AI work is happening in the private sector, the task force also recommended working with start-ups and commercial industries in the use of Artificial Intelligence for defence purposes.


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