Youth must be skilled in artificial intelligence: Ahsan Iqbal

Published April 20, 2022
A file photo of PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal. — DawnNewsTV/File
A file photo of PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Through artificial intelligence, several sectors of the country including health, policing, judicial and overall governance can be improved. The youth of Pakistan must learn skills in this field.

This was pointed out by newly-appointed Minister of Planning Prof Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday during his visit to the National Centre of Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) of National University of Science and Technology (Nust). He was there to review progress made by the centre.

The minister was received by Nust Rector Engr Javed Mahmood Bukhari, Pro-Rector Research, Innovation and Commercialisation Retired Air Vice Marshal Dr Rizwan Riaz and Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Javed Banuri. NCAI Director Prof Dr Yasar Ayaz gave a detailed briefing to the minister about initiatives taken by the centre.

NCAI is providing technical training to students in different areas like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, cyber security, cloud computing, digital marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO).

“I am happy to visit the centre of the country’s leading university soon after taking charge of the ministry as I inaugurated the centre in 2018,” said the minister while talking to journalists.

AI will play a critical role in the future, he said while highlighting the importance of AI for modern knowledge-based economies. He also stressed on the need to carry out research in the field of economic development, adding that there is a need to reform the curriculum to meet the requirements of the industry.

Through AI, Mr Iqbal said, several areas like policing, judiciary, health and governance systems of the country could be improved. He also directed the HEC to hold workshops and invite industry leaders so reform in the curriculum could be discussed. Later, the minister visited various laboratories of the centre. He said the youth of Pakistan deserves top learning opportunities and the government will play its role towards making that happen.

Earlier, Prof Ayaz, in his briefing informed the minister that NCAI works on a consortium model in which the best researchers in the field of AI from across Pakistan have been selected on competitive grounds.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2022

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