IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao has said that Telangana has declared 2020 as the Year of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to accelerate AI readiness and develop a conducive innovation ecosystem in the State, opening new avenues of Artificial Intelligence led innovation for social impact, especially in the public sector.

He was speaking at the Launch of AI4AI: Artificial Intelligence for Agricultural Innovation in collaboration with Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, India (C4IR), World Economic Forum.

He said as part of ‘2020 – Year of AI’, the Telangana government has partnered with several reputed organisations from industry and academia and introduced several initiatives, including a six-pronged AI strategy. The initiatives include T-AIM (Telangana’s AI Mission), a dedicated body for AI specific initiatives in partnership with NASSCOM; Centre for Research in Applied AI, an organisation with focus on healthcare in collaboration with Intel, IIIT Hyderabad and Public Health Foundation of India.

Quoting Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, he said “Any technology that is not used to improve the lives of common people is of least relevance. The focus of our State should be using these technologies to improve the life of a common man.” He further stated that agriculture has been one of the most important sectors for the government of Telangana and it is the right time to bring digital technology led revolution in this sector. “We strongly feel that AI will offer immense possibilities for the farmers, governments and all other stakeholders of the ecosystem,” he added.

Talking at the session, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant appreciated the Telangana government in taking the lead in the AI space. “We are happy to be partnering with Telangana in piloting many AI in Agriculture initiatives. There is no better place than Telangana in our country and we are happy to work with Minister KTR,” he said.

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