‘AI will be game changer in education and industry’ | Nagpur News

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GH Raisoni College of Engineering is launching the state’s first Bachelor of Technology (BTech) programme in Artificial Intelligence from this session, marking a transformation in technical education. The programme was planned over the last three years after AI started touching each sphere of our lives, says college director Preeti Bajaj.
She says the college has just set out on a new innings and wants to explore more in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), taking up projects and tie-ups. In a chat with TOI, Bajaj speaks about the subject at length. Excerpts:
What scope do you see for this course?
AI is there in banking, security, defence, income tax evasion detection etc. For example, it offers smart farming solutions to farmers. When the crop is ready, it can tell you about protection needed from diseases, it can detect diseases, track watering needs, or changes in soil pattern and weather. Likewise, in health care, AI helps process huge amount of visual data from MRI and their deep learning. It will be a game changer in education and industry.
The concept in new. Are teachers ready with their class work?
The concept is new as well as old. I had studied AI as one of the subjects during my MTech in 1996. Then, the computer processing power was not as robust as it is today. This is the era of big data, digital content, and mountains of information. With advanced computer processing, AI has gained momentum. It gives intelligence to every system. Teachers at Raisoni have started training in various domains of machine learning, data analytics, and programming language python. They have enrolled for Google and Microsoft courses. The upskilling of our faculty members in an ongoing process. They have been appearing for exams and are graded as per scores. We are creating a workforce in AI.
What impact will AI have on other engineering branches?
Many sectors, including health care, smart city, manufacturing and defence are being dominated by AI. Hence it is going to be one of the most dominating field. Five or six universities in India offer minors in AI. All institutes are fine-tuning their courses around AI now.
What were your reasons for starting the programme?
The Niti Ayog has dedicated a 115-page report ‘AI for All’ in June 2018. Another 72-page report ‘AI Task force’ was submitted to the government. Hence, we thought of starting a full-fledged course when there was such a huge demand for it.
What are your plans ahead?
We want our AI Centre of Excellence to be a global leader. We would like to take up multiple projects. Our campus is going digital. People are already writing to us to be on board for this initiative. Some of our students from the US are in touch and want to contribute. We would go for new recruitments and tie up with start ups.
What is the response to your initiative?
We are yet to even issue a press release but the news has spread by word of mouth. We are even getting international queries.

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