An Artificial Intelligence Incubation Hub (AIIH), set up jointly by the Army and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) as part of a pact inked earlier this year, will be identifying artificial intelligence projects that may be critical for the Army and coordinate the evaluation of trials in those cases, News18 has learnt.
As per defence sources, the AIIH will also be tasked with identifying partners from the industry, academia or start-ups to check the feasibility of ideas related to AI projects for implementation and will be responsible for hiring of resources and necessary hardware for validation of suggested AI projects for the force.
Based on BEL’s research and development expertise and areas where the Army could use AI, the new hub will be working in major domain areas of machine learning, auto-platforms, AI-based swarm technology, robotics, big data analytics, image processing as well as cyber security and AI-based response mechanism.
In March this year, the Army and BEL had inked a pact to collaborate in AI for defence applications. The step was taken after the defence ministry had pushed for fast-tracking incorporation of the new tech for defence applications, as part of which the defence services were asked to collaborate with defence PSUs.
As per the sources, the pact was also aimed at promoting greater research and innovation in the field of Artificial Intelligence for the Army.
Push to Incorporate AI and New Tech in Defence
There has been an increasing push to incorporate AI in defence from the central government in the last two years and the services have been taking some steps towards incorporating new technologies in the defence sector.
In July this year, defence minister Rajnath Singh launched 75 newly developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) products and technologies in an AI in Defence (AIDef) symposium and exhibition organised by the Ministry of Defence for the first time.
In 2019, the Defence Artificial Intelligence Council (DAIC) was created under the chairmanship of the defence minister for providing guidance and structural support and a Defence AI Project Agency (DAIPA) has also been created under the secretary (defence production). Rs 100 crore was earmarked annually for AI-enabled projects.
Last year, the Army, with support from the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), established the Quantum Lab at the Mhow-based Military College of Telecommunication Engineering to spearhead research and training in this developing field. It had established an AI Centre of Excellence at the same institution.
The Navy has already designated Jamnagar-based INS Valsura as the Centre of Excellence in the field of big data and a state-of-the-art lab on AI and big data analysis was set up in January 2020.
In July, the Indian Air Force inaugurated a Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence under the aegis of UDAAN (Unit for Digitisation, Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Application Networking).
As per a government statement, AI framework and guidelines for projects and programmes in DRDO have been issued and all DRDO system laboratories have started AI technology groups to introduce AI features in all products.
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