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As digital transformation enters top gear amid the pandemic, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a solution to overcome the language, and literacy barriers in India, experts said here on Wednesday.

Speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘Use of Emerging Technologies for Social Empowerment Blockchain, AR/VR, Drone, IoT, GIS’ organized by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), experts highlighted the importance and role of emerging technologies in digital transformation.

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“AI has immense possibilities and huge potential. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when government officials were not available, we made chatbots using AI for anyone to procure the required information,” said Dr. Neeta Verma, DG, NIC.

There are 20-30 crore people in India who either do not have smartphones or face language and literacy barriers to use the technology, according to Verma.

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Abhishek Singh, President, and CEO, NeGD (National eGovernance Division) highlighted the importance and role of emerging technologies for digital transformational and effective implementation of Digital India initiatives for social benefit.

Professor Manindra Agrawal from the department of computer science and engineering, IIT Kanpur talked about the common misconception that Blockchain is exclusively for cryptocurrency.

“Blockchain technology provides the ability to create and maintain unalterable ledgers. There are a number of domains, especially when delivering services to citizens, where maintaining records that cannot be altered is of great importance. For example, land ownership records, database of criminals, and supply-chain logistics,” he said.

The 75th ‘Azadi Ka Digital Mahotsav’ is a week-long celebration from November 29 – December 5.

Meanwhile, Samsung India Electronics, the country’s No 1 smartphone exporter, was awarded for outstanding contribution in the promotion of electronics in the export performance category during one of the events at the Mahotsav.

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