Robots are Coming

NAM 2019 discusses the role of AI in future battlefield

Yunus Dar

A galaxy of scientists, researchers and academicians participated in a seminar to discuss the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its application in future battlefields. Distinguished scientist and director general (Naval Systems & Materials), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Samir V. Kamath said that AI would play a major role in the battlefield of the future. Addressing the NSTL-Academia Meet (NAM 2019), organised by the Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), he recalled the contributions of academia the world over in fostering a spirit of enquiry and harnessing innovation and creativity to meet social and technological needs of the society at large.

Attendees at the NSTL-Academia Meet on Artificial Intelligence (NAM-2019)

NAM 2019, held at Mohapatra Manasi Auditorium on 19 January 2019, on the theme ‘Artificial Intelligence for Naval Systems’, provided the ideal platform for deliberation and discussion on the topic of AI and its application to defence systems, with specific emphasis on naval systems. A galaxy of researchers and faculty from 18 universities, technologists and system developers of six labs of the DRDO – NSTL, NMRL, CAIR, NPOL, DMRL & DEAL - actively participated in the meet and exchanged views and ideas in the exciting area of research – AI.

Speaking on the occasion, O.R. Nandagopan, outstanding scientist and director NSTL, described the academic institutes as fountainheads of innovation and expressed hope that NAM 2019 would help bridge the gap between academia and R&D institutes and bring out a roadmap for futuristic research in respect of AI-enabled naval systems.

The chief guest G. Nageswara Rao, vice chancellor of Andhra University, commended the initiative, calling it ‘timely and apt’, and exhorted researchers to give their creative best towards development of ‘best-in-class naval systems’.  The keynote address was delivered by Anil Kumar Agarwal, director ER & IPR, DRDO, followed by expert talks on various topics of contemporary and futuristic relevance by technology directors of NSTL, and professors from universities.

Besides technology director NSTL and chairman NAM 2019, G. Ravi Kumar, many researchers, scientists and academicians participated in NAM 2019.

Internationally, many countries are giving a massive push to AI-driven defence technologies, with China spearheading the evolution of new battlefields. The country’s vision is that by 2030, its AI theories, technologies, and applications would become the world’s leading innovation hub in the field. The Russian President had in 2017 remarked that AI was going to be the future, not only for Russia but for all humankind. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the leader in the world, he added.

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