HISAR: The Indian Army's bid to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its larger formations is set to become a reality soon.
The Army's South Western Army Commander Lt General Alok Kler said on Wednesday, “The Indian Army will start using Artificial Intelligence in the next two to three years for constructive and destructive purposes. It will be used first in the mechanised forces."
The Army has been working to incorporate new-age technology under a roadmap, added Lt Gen Kler, speaking on the occasion of the Sapta Shakti Artificial Intelligence (AI) seminar in Hisar.
Artificial intelligence will help us in gathering information, making decisions and becoming a more destructive fighting machine, said Lt Gen Kler. "Information is intelligence and we have to be aware of its disruptive use in mind. We have taken a very large step to fill the gap in military requirements," he said.
Talking about the wider spectrum, Lt Gen Kler said, "While I’m aware that our tanks and combat vehicles are called swarms, AI lends itself to every aspect of military decision making. When I say military decision making, I’m talking about its use from the ground to space to water to air -- artificial intelligence will assist every service."
In February 2018, the defence ministry had set up a multi-stakeholder task force for Strategic Implementation of Artificial Intelligence and Defence that submitted its report in June.
The ministry went ahead by creating an institutional framework for policy implementation, issuing guidelines to defence organizations and laying out a vision for capacity-building.
In February this year, the ministry had established a high-level Defence AI Council (DAIC) tasked to provide strategic direction towards the adoption of AI in defence.
The DAIC will guide the partnership between the government and industry and also review the recommendations concerning the acquisition of technology and startups.
With the aim of capacity building, it also envisioned the formation of a Defence AI Project Agency (DAIPA) as the central executive body.
The government is also promoting projects on AI. “Under the iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence) scheme of the Union government, more than 600 applications were received. 44 were finally shortlisted out of which 7 are on AI for which the government is ready to give financial support up to Rs 1.5 crore," said Mudit Narain of IDEX who spoke at the seminar.
Meanwhile, on the issue of drones being used by Pakistan, Lt Gen Kler said it was not a matter of worry. “Information of drones entering from across the border is nothing to worry about as they have smaller carriage capacity. We have enough systems, radars and capability. Drones which enter our airspace will be shot down by the Army and Air Force," he said.
The seminar was attended by government officials, technology experts, academics apart from the Army officials.