Publish: 13 Mar 2020, 09:10 pm
Bangladesh is in a prime place to grab the utility of Artificial Intelligence (AI), as the country has made tremendous progress in digitizing services to become a digital nation.
“Potential value of AI is heavily depending on the situation of digitized data. So, it is perfect time to initiate data-driven decisions using AI for Bangladesh,” said Dr. Khairul Chowdhury, chief technology officer of US-based Intelligent Design Through Automation, Research and Experience (IDARE) in an email interview with BSS.
AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.
“Use of AI optimizes cost, time and resources for people, industry, and organization,” he said.
The Bangladesh-origin US technology expert recently supervised research on ‘Big Data to Actionable Intelligence: A Solution Roadmap for Bangladesh’, where a detailed survey was made about the data situation.
The government took 12 digital initiatives, according to the survey, that generated 600 terabytes (TB) of data related to the people's demographics, financials, socioeconomics, education, and environments.
It is worth mentioning that the first world countries, which have been seated on digital data for the last 20 years, have taken steps just a few years back to allow evidence-driven decisions, he said.
In that respect, he said, if Bangladesh will start using AI to take actionable decisions now, they'll not be far from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“I expect Bangladesh to be ahead of many developed countries if they initiate utilization of AI,” he said.
Asked what the changes in the country's economy would be through AI, he said for every economy, instability is a main loss mechanism or to restrict progress, an economist can tell better.
“What AI brings is predictability or better visibility of the future, which is a breakthrough. This predictability helps you manage your resources better, which is key to growth of Bangladesh where resources are limited,” he said.
Asked the sectors are highly potential for AI in Bangladesh, he said all sectors are highly potential for AI in the region, both public and private, and interestingly, the government sectors are very well placed, which is the other way for the first world countries like the USA and Europe.
“You have to appreciate the current government for this gift. So, governance using AI possesses a very high potential,” he said.
The IT expert said better governance with combating communicable diseases such as dengue, health sector prediction, enhanced school efficiency, automated traffic law enforcement to eliminate traffic jams, business asset reputation management, and power demand prediction and generation control may provide an enormous return on investment to all these sectors.
Responding to another query about the possible drawbacks or failures of AI in the economy, as citizens fear employment losses, he said such concern often occurs in developed countries like the USA where the work cycle is already quite productive but a developing world like Bangladesh still suffers from a shortage of highly qualified labour.
“In this case, AI can help growth tremendously and augment people’s power,” he added.
Chowdhury, however, said the main concern is not job losses rather wrong implementation of AI, which is a very serious issue.
“AI is like fire if one doesn’t implement with high skills and experience it could burn the whole thing and can be catastrophic. So, AI should only be implemented by experts,” he suggested.
Referring to recent works in Bangladesh from IDARE, he said it was a tremendous pleasure to help Bangladesh in e-governance as a tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He said IDARE began experimentally providing analytics in three sectors — resource managing in the education sector using AI for BANBEIS, dengue tracking and prediction, and disaster management visual analytics with A2I.
For the education sector IDARE’s predictive analytics computation system was able to identify some key mechanisms behind SSC failure for Dhaka and Cumilla and was able to predict the school’s pass rate with 96% accuracy, he added.
He said such accuracy helps to formulate architecture to manage resources effectively to improve school performance.
For communicable diseases like dengue, he said, IDARE built a visual analytics platform to track dengue and currently building a dengue prediction model using AI.
In another effort, IDARE is providing a visual analytics dashboard for tracking disaster and its management with a2i (access to information), he added.
He, however, said all the technologies are going under experimentation and will require maturation to deploy.