India is a major user market in the US – and one of the largest data collections in the world. U.S. technology companies who access this data will be like Middle East energy companies discovering oil.
The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum launched its American Indian Artificial Intelligence Initiative on 17 March to promote cooperation between the two countries in the fields of science and technology.
Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of the Science and Technology Department, said that ST-Indo-US ties go back a long way, benefiting the two countries significantly.
Analytics India Magazine discussed what geopolitical experts can expect from the initiative and how the collaboration is going to help India.
In contemporary geopolitics, AI and other new technologies play a key role.
Abishur Prakash, the geo-politics futurist at the Innovation Center for the Future in Canada, said that "technology is the foundation for the future of international relations." "India could lead to breakthroughs or cooperation with the US in areas such as defense or health services through the new AI initiative. The BrahMos cruise missile was developed by India and Russia on a similar model. Similarly, the 6G is being explored by India and Finland. This is the way that governments work in the current strategic framework.
AI in India is still early. However, there is a strong desire to enhance collaboration between Indo-US in emerging technology.
Arindrajit Basu, the Internet & Society Centre's program manager, added that "AI will be used in all sectors as a platform. India has no specific goals and is difficult to forecast." "We can expect that cooperation in capacity-building, research, and development, the sharing of scientific knowledge, the security of supply chains are much simpler, rather than reaching consensus on AI standards.
"We obviously want greater collaboration between the Indo-United States in emerging technology. This has been seen in two-way, multilateral initiatives, including special emerging technology agreements such as the USIAI or GPAI and general security agreements, such as the Quad, which also focuses on the emerging tech."
In this joint effort to ensure equitable growth, India and the US will complement each other.
"India is a huge target market for the US and one of the largest datasets in the world. The data will be accessed by technology firms in the USA as energy companies seeking oil in the Middle East," Prakash said.
"India has US algorithms to solve a range of development challenges facing India from taking banking to hundreds of millions, modernizing the Indian military to providing healthcare to the people. At the same time, India is channeling huge numbers of engineers and computer scientists for US technology companies, vital talents these companies require."
New geopolitical realities are another important reason for collaboration between India and the US. A pressing concern is China's rising AI effect.
"What India and the US bring to the table is what is expected to be an evolving technology democratic governance model," Basu said, "There are many things in which continuity exists, despite the trump-to-Biden shift in administration – including mistrust in China and Chinese technology. There is a clear need to ensure that supply chains are subject to democratic practices, legislation, and standards."
AI and other new technologies are being utilized by both countries to strengthen their ties and gain a geopolitical advantage.
"The United States and India are also in need. For the US, it has to take on China from allies such as India. And India requires the United States to increase technology and assistance worldwide. "It's a win-win scenario," said Prakash. "We've come to AI because technology defines geopolitics. This is the start of the Western world and brings India to its 'tech orbit.' And, because of Next Geopolitics, it is the beginning of India that is shifting away from its unaligned status."
Experts agree that ties between countries will be defined by AI and emerging technologies. In order to use its potential and create a 'footprint' in AI and emerging technologies, India should look for more opportunities.
"This is the future model. This is how technology can create relations between nations. Southeast Asia is one area in which India may be doubling. It becomes a hotbed of rivalry among the world's main forces," Prakash said.
"India could use the US AI Platform to verify what is going on. Through this insight, India could then use its own algorithms to create an 'AI corridor' and a new form of geopolitical force in Southeast Asian countries. Of course, QUAD or the Five Eyes (where India joins) may also do this."
At the same time, safeguarding Indian people from exploitative data in the US or other major economies is also important.
The first move is to avoid unequaled fusion, unfair practice, competition law, and the free and equitable taxation of those firms, though we do not wish to enter into a regulatory fight, we also wish to ensure that citizens' interests are covered, said Basu.
"We risk losing investment and cooperation opportunities if we control those companies in a manner that is unpredictable, intrusive, and contra-productive. Such collaboration will ideally bring different parties to the table and ensure that laws are fair and safeguard the rights of people, while companies are not seriously affected," he added.
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