Odisha can chart out a data-driven strategy to propel the next phase of its growth leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), agreed participants in a global virtual conference, Odias in ML, organised by a group of Odias, also called ‘Odias in ML’, with a shared interest in AI and ML recently. A multitude of stakeholders including researchers, IT professionals, data scientists, academicians, linguists, administrators, entrepreneurs, business executives, media persons, and community leaders participated in the first-of-its-kind conference.
The conference comprised four sessions, themed AI for Odisha, AI for Odia language, Research & Career Opportunities in AI; and Entrepreneurship and Business Opportunities in AI. Each session was a combination of keynotes, presentations and panel discussions.
Prof Prasant Mohapatra, Vice-Chancellor of Research, University of California Davis, identified two specific areas, agriculture and healthcare, where leveraging data and application of AI/ML could help Odisha significantly. Prof Panchanan Mohanty, noted linguist and President of Linguistic Society of India, outlined areas which natural language processing (NLP) technologies could address. The community agreed to work towards forming teams for developing fundamental lexicographic tools needed for NLP in Odisha. Dr Pragyasmita Nayak, Chief Data Scientist at Hitachi, outlined how Odisha could leverage data for its development and administration. Manoj Mishra, Secretary, Electronics & IT outlined areas (including in COVID management) where Odisha is currently using analytics, and expressed his desire to work closely with Odia techies and data scientists across the world for betterment of Odisha. Prof Chitta Baral, Professor of Computer Science at University of Arizona, talked about his research in the area of natural language processing.
Various speakers and panellists also suggested that Odias across the world should consistently collaborate with each other in this area to create opportunities for Odisha and Odias. Many speakers stressed the need to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurship in Odisha. Many also agreed on the need to impart AI/ML and data science education across universities and institutes in Odisha.