With technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) set to play a key role in a post-pandemic world, it is important to use technology-based tools with fairness and responsibility, said Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India.
Srivathsa was speaking at the Bennett University webinar on Monday on how AI is enabling solutions to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has devastated lives and livelihoods across the world.
The technology sector leader said organisations and developers have to nurture practices to make sure AI is used responsibly as it has “broad ramifications”.
“Because AI is so pervasive, and it has such broad ramifications we need to think about responsible AI practices from the time of designing the product. At Microsoft, this has been a multi-year journey for us in terms of thinking about responsible AI practices from fairness to privacy to security to transparency,” she said.
Srivathsa also emphasised on the need for taking principles of responsible AI into practice.
“How do we make them real for organisations, make them real for developers in terms of tools that help them check for fairness, hidden biases with data, differential privacy. We really do take this very seriously and Covid-19 has brought this to the forefront.”
Anant Agarwal, chief executive officer of edX, said technologies such as AI, machine learning, data science would change the way people live, especially after such unprecedented disruption and it is important to scale up online learning opportunities for people.
“AI is changing the face of everything and online learning is very affordable and scalable,” said Agarwal.
“We launched a course (by Harvard University) on mechanical ventilation for Covid-19 and we have 230,000 students from all over the world and 20,000 from India alone in one month. So, online learning can be used to very rapidly scale up training in the fields that are critical now,” he said.
Sanket Baralay, founder and chairman, Digishield, said fresh challenges have come up in implementing AI tools with the pandemic and efforts should be made to address them.
“As I think about the role of AI in controlling Covid-19 a lot of interesting challenges have come up. In India, individual health data digitisation is almost non-existent. The civic digitisation is happening at faster pace, but the ability to use that data in coordination with the civic bodies is a tremendous challenge,” said Baralay.
Digishield is working to address these challenges in a manner that will benefit in containment of the outbreak and working with civic bodies, he added.