The government is now planning to invest seed of around 1.1 billion Rs to initiate AI projects in Pakistan.
About the project
The project will be carried out under the supervision of HEC. Six public Universities were selected to structure nine laboratories for the research on AI.
A proposal from a team of engineers was presented to HEC in 2017, stating that universities across the country have a CS program with at least a W rating, accredited by the National Computing Education Accreditation Council (NCEAC). ), have shown interest in AI.
According to the proposal, 50 universities must be selected on the basis of several KPIs, eg quality of the faculty concerned, quality of the infrastructure and partnerships between industry and academia, etc.
The proposal also stipulates that each student should receive a subsidy of approximately Rs 200,000 per year. Students are selected on the basis of their earnings in FSc or equivalent. Universities with a strength of about 200 students per year must be funded for the entire 4-year program.
Subsidies should also be given for the faculty's salaries to ensure and boost a high level of human resources for the development of the program. In order to hire a faculty, the university should receive a grant of approximately Rs 10 million and Rs 5 million for MS-qualified faculties.
The proposal mentions a budget of approximately Rs. 3.25 billion for the first year to provide state-of-the-art AI laboratories, but the Planning Commission has only approved Rs 1.1 billion for this project for the next three fiscal years.
Pakistani engineers develop an artificial intelligence journalist
HEC appointed Dr Yasir Ayaz of the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) as head of the project. He says:
This is an era of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) but Pakistan still lives in the era of the second industrial revolution (Industry 2.0). We lagged far behind the rest of the world because the developed countries have begun artificial intelligence to maximize the production of the industrial sector. The use of robotics in warfare becomes a routine matter, while artificial intelligence is used by the modern world for surveillance purposes.
After the project was announced to the public, only 19 universities from the public and private sectors appealed to it, and 6 universities in the public sector were selected for the equipment and the faculty. . These 6 universities are:
- NUST, Islamabad
- Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) University
- NED UET Karachi
- UET Peshawar
- UET Lahore
- University of Punjab Lahore
Where NUST has been appointed as the headquarters of this project.
- NUST will set two laboratories, Intelligent Robotics Lab and Deep Learning Lab.
- CIIT would set up a diagnostic laboratory for medical imaging
- UET Lahore would establish Intelligent Criminology Lab
- Punjab University would set up a set up Computedational Modeling Lab.
Ned Uet Karachi would set up two laboratories; Smart City Lab, Neuro Computation Lab
Every university will offer a Masters and a PhD program in this area and the laboratories will be equipped with state-of-the-art hardware.
A total of 36 PhD-physicians from the relevant fields with these laboratories will work because it is compulsory for each lab to be responsible and three sub-loads.
Universities would initially be subsidized with Rs 70 to Rs 75 million to structure their laboratories.
"If the government trusts that we can provide this country within a few years with skilled personnel in the field of artificial intelligence, Pakistan has a large talent pool that can compete with international scholars when the government finances them and scholarships. gives talented and deserving students ", says Dr. Yasir.
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