Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to have a transformative impact on national security. It is also seen that AI is essentially a dual-use technology. While it can fuel technology-driven economic growth, it also has the potential to provide military superiority. India has a strong IT industry and a huge talent pool of engineers which are advantages that need to be leveraged. Ministry of Defence has already initiated the process of preparing Indian defense forces in their use of AI and how these capabilities can be increasingly developed within the country.

To study the whole gamut of issues surrounding strategic implications of AI from a national security perspective, in a global context, a multi-stakeholder Task Force represented by members from the Government, Services, Academia, Industry Professionals, and Start-ups was constituted in February 2018, under the Chairmanship of Shri N Chandrasekharan, Chairman, Tata Sons. The Task Force, on June 30, 2018, has handed over its Final Report with recommendations. The Task Force in its report has, inter alia, 

  • Studied the level of AI/ML development in India in general and specifically in the context of defense needs.
  • Made recommendations of making India a significant power of AI in defense specifically in the area of aviation, naval, land systems, cyber, nuclear, and biological warfare;
  • Made recommendations for policy and institutional interventions that are required to regulate and encourage robust AI-based technologies for the defense sector in the country. 
  • Considering that most AI work is happening in the private sector, made recommendations to work with start-ups/commercial industry in the field of use of AI for defense purposes.

As part of its deliberations, the Task Force had an intensive deliberation with all stakeholder representatives, including officers from Army, Navy, Airforce, Coast Guard, representatives of all Defence PSUs, namely BEL, HAL, BEML, BDL, MIDHANI, MDL, GRSE, GSL and HSL, and OFB. Senior representatives from these organizations participated in the day-long workshop to deliberate in-depth the various use-cases which are relevant to their respective needs. These discussions had led the Task Force to understand the potential military and civilian applications in the AI domain.

Raksha Mantri is the main promoter and patron of the AI Task Force of the Ministry of Defence. The Task Force handed over the Final Report to Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, today, for the Government to accept it and to implement its recommendations.

Source: Press Release
Release ID: 1537260
Date: June 30, 2018
PIB Delhi
Ministry of Defence