IIT Hyderabad takes an AI leap with introduction of B.Tech program in AI

India being synonymous to all things IT has been incorporating new tech into the day to day life. Artificial intelligence is one such technology that has gained a lot of traction worldwide and has evolved in ways that far exceed its original conception. Not only that, even the education system and courses are evolving and expanding with new incorporation of technology. Taking an example, recently Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad has launched a full- proof B.Tech program in Artificial Intelligence (AI) which will be starting from the upcoming Academic Year (2019-2020). The course will have the capacity of accommodating around 20 students who are allowed to take the program through the selection entrance of JEE-Advanced. On completion, the students graduating from IIT Hyderabad with degree in AI would have an understanding of both the fundamentals of theory and practical elements of AI and machine learning (ML). The main objective of IIT Hyderabad behind this  AI leap and initiating Department of Artificial Intelligence is to enable students to become leaders in the industry and academia nationally and internationally and meet the pressing demands of the nation in the areas of AI and machine learning. Speaking about the importance of this course, IIT Hyderabad director UB Desai , communicated to the media that “The basic aim is to create a complete ecosystem for Artificial Intelligence Academics and Research at IIT Hyderabad. This involves BTech, MTech and different minor programs in AI. Moreover, the R&D will be strongly entwined with academics.” Further, the ethical impact of AI and its technologies on areas such as privacy, bias and related issues will also be a key component of this B.Tech. program. It is important that the next generation of people trained in AI be sensitised to these things and are cognizant to the impact of the technology they develop. Highlighting the salient features of this course, IIT Hyderabad dean of research and development Sumohana Channappayya, said that “AI solutions are particularly promising for India [given the availability of a large corpus of data] where it can have a major positive impact on several critical domains such as healthcare, crop and soil management, weather prediction, surveillance and security, and defence. Long term and robust solutions to problems in these domains require a systematic and disciplined approach that is rooted in the fundamentals of AI. However, the demand for professionals trained in this area far exceeds the current supply. The BTech program in AI is a step in the direction of addressing this highly skewed demand-supply scenario.” Further Channappayya expressed that the potential for AI to improve the quality of human lives is tremendous. This will not only train students in the fundamentals of computer science, AI and ML but it will also sensitise them to the ethical issues in deploying AI-based solutions in a various sphere. With so many advancements happening in AI space, there is no denying the fact that AI is poised to disrupt the Indian ecosystem as well.