Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially generative AI, is reshaping the technological landscape across various industries globally, and government sectors are no exception. With India aiming for a digital transformation, a pertinent question arises – Should the Indian Government Train its Employees on Generative AI? Generative AI Training for Indian Government Employees.
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AI: The New Normal
India, like the rest of the world, is swiftly moving from the age of computers to the age of AI. According to experts, AI, particularly generative AI, is expected to become as ubiquitous as computers. However, the tech-savvy skills of government employees in India are often under question.
A survey in 2017, conducted by the Karnataka government, found that only 35% of government employees cleared the mandatory computer literacy tests. This alarming statistic reflects the broader picture across the country, highlighting the urgent need for tech-oriented training for government employees.
The Imperative Need for AI Training
As the global AI adoption rate escalates, there’s a growing necessity for government employees to be proficient in utilizing AI technologies. Recognizing this, many private enterprises have already started investing in their workforce’s digital skills and data literacy, with an emphasis on generative AI.
Ibrahim Khatri, CEO at Privezi Solutions, emphasized that the comprehensive training of government employees on the potential and risks of AI is absolutely essential. Drawing a direct comparison between the government sector and the private sector in AI training would be unfair, but the public sector cannot afford to lag.
AI: A Kinetic Enabler for the Government
The government of India perceives AI as a kinetic enabler. AI is already being employed to streamline administrative processes and improve service delivery in various government departments and agencies. An excellent example of this is Ama KrushAI, a generative AI-powered chatbot launched by Odisha’s Department for Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment to assist farmers.
Recognizing AI Risks
However, the adoption of AI does not come without challenges. One of the significant issues is the possibility of existing societal biases, such as caste, gender, religious, and regional discrimination, creeping into the AI system. Therefore, comprehensive training is needed to help government employees identify and address these biases, assess risks associated with AI, including job displacement and cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and implement safeguards.
The Advent of Generative AI
The use and adoption of AI have only been expedited with the advent of technology like ChatGPT. The potential of generative AI is being actively explored by both private organizations and governments. Leading Indian IT companies, Infosys and TCS, are already equipping their employees with skills to manage operations involving generative AI.
According to Harsh Kar, global data and analytics business leader at Genpact, the company has a dedicated channel on generative AI within their online learning platform, Genome. A similar approach needs to be adopted by the government as well.
Cybersecurity in the Age of AI
With the rise of AI, cybersecurity threats have also taken a new dimension. It’s essential to educate government employees about the potential security vulnerabilities posed by generative AI. As Khatri emphasized, incidents of government employees and ministries falling victim to hacks underscore the vulnerabilities and the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures.
In conclusion, while AI presents immense opportunities to enhance government operations and public services, it is equally essential to address the risks and challenges it brings. Training Indian government employees on generative AI can be the key to unlocking the full potential of AI while ensuring its responsible and secure use.
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