AI & ML Hub set up by IIT Kharagpur under National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems
Kharagpur (WB)/IBNS: IIT Kharagpur, India’s premier institute of learning, recently announced that it is all set to transform the nation’s industrial sector with scalable application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).
The Institute has recently set up a special purpose vehicle, the IIT Kharagpur AI4ICPS I Hub Foundation, for translation of academic research at the proof of concept level to industrially scalable products and processes, focused on AI interventions to CPS.
According to Principal Investigator Dr. Debdoot Sheet, Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence, “While research has been happening in AI&ML for decades, mostly limited to software with limited inclusion in consumer goods and daily used gadgets, graduating innovation to technology readiness for industrial production is crucial. The Hub is envisioned to be a unique establishment in the country to undertake a diverse spectrum of activities linking academic research to the industry through an inclusive co-working partnership, towards the common goal of unlocking the $500 billion contributions to India’s GDP expected from Data and AI by 2025.”
The mandate at AI4ICPS is to transition research from TRL 3 to TRL 7, which, according to a release from the institute, means enabling the translation of academic research resulting in pre-/prototypes of AI&ML interventions in CPS to scalability ready products and processes for industry.
The Institute received a grant of Rs 170 crore from the central government’s Department of Science and Technology, under the NM-ICPS to set up the infrastructure and undertake the related research and training programs.
“We are also committed to promote fundamental research in TRL 1 to TRL 3 and foster the creation of startups to scale production for their off-shelf market availability, an activity beyond TRL 7 and ranging upto TRL 9,” said Dr. Sheet.
The Hub will further develop critical infrastructure for the Nation, an AI Cloud for CPS, a National Knowledge Portal for training human resources on the future-ready AI technology for CPS.
Said Dr. Ashish Ranjan Hota, Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering, “The host of Digital Twins like tractors and farm machines, 3D printing technology, structural health and road traffic, wastewater engineering, energy-efficient buildings, next-gen wireless communication, human physiology and in-silico disease models are to name a few of the 32 technologies to be developed by the PEG at the Hub.”
The R&D work will span over core research in algorithms, methods, explainability, trust and safety of AI&ML, enabling technologies like machine vision, speech, natural language processing (NLP), text analytics, augmented and virtual reality, technology for the internet of things (IoT), and also application of AI&ML technologies in a diverse range of industry verticals including (i) healthcare, (ii) precision agriculture and nutritional security, (iii) manufacturing, (iv) transportation, (v) environment and pollution, (vi) infrastructure and energy, (vii) education, (viii) judiciary and legal, and (ix) communication, the release said.
“IIT Kharagpur is a pioneer in AI education and research with more than a hundred faculty members working in theory and methods of AI and its applications across various disciplines. This Hub will create a multidimensional ecosystem to foster innovation and commercialization of AI&ML interventions to ICPS spanning across several sectors along with facilitation of new knowledge creation, upskilling human resources, entrepreneurship and job creation,” said Director, Prof. Virendra K Tewari.
Along with Dr. Sheet are Prof. Surjya Pal, Prof. Sudeshna Sarkar, Dr. Ashish Ranjan Hota, Dr. Rajendra Machavaram and over 80 faculty members from diverse disciplines of the Institute in driving the Hub’s establishment.
Their R&D work will have close collaboration with over 50 companies and PSUs who are engaging early on, scouting for potential technologies.
Research collaborations are also being discussed with over 30 global research partners towards furthering the objective of a unifying effort to converge the world in building AI for industries of the future across sectors ranging from agriculture to heavy machinery.