Hyderabad: The area of Artificial Intelligence has always been a mystery that is even exciting at times for researchers and industry. And this has been due to the fact that at the very core the definition, perception and application of AI keeps changing. The area constitutes not only fancy research like robotics, drones but also social applications like speech and voice recognition for the differently abled and in turn helping them to communicate better.
This ever-changing nature of AI was the subject of discussion at the Microsoft Academic Research Summit 2018 held in International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad in partnership with Association for Computing Machinery. According to Mausam, associate professor, AI, Natural Language Processing, IIT Delhi, “AI is almost like magic and for me if it works then it is not AI. We have come to a world where everything is AI and it is moving exponentially fast. Researchers in this field must try and come up with research which can be generalised across situations and not just provide specific solutions.”
He was speaking on a panel titled AI Perception and Applications that had panelists Dr Victor Bahl and Dr Venkat Padmanabham from Microsoft Research and Professor Subhasis Chaudhari and Professor Hema Murthy from IIT Bombay and IIT Madras respectively.
Speaking about the advancements in AI, the panelists agreed that while it has varied applications like in speech and voice recognition, conversion of text to speech in native Indian languages, medical imaging, robotics, but there are two things it cannot do – dream and be philosophic. “While AI has given computers power of almost being close to human intelligence, but to dream and to be philosophical is something it cannot do. And that needs to kept in mind by researchers,” said Chaudhari.
However, the major challenge according to researchers in this field in the non-availability of large number of data sets. While some data is available in open forums, but there are some that are not publically available and this makes research in this field even more complex and difficult. And the panelists have called for a need to make more and more data public in order to make research more viable.
AI and Society
The two-day summit that started on Wednesday will have an interesting session on application of Artificial Intelligence and Society.
The panelists for this topic are Ajay Prakash Sawhney, secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Dr P Anandan, CEO, Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Professor P J Narayanan, director, IIIT-Hyderabad and Professor Raj Reddy, Carnegie Mellon University.