US-India Synergy: Bridging the Digital Divide and Advancing AI

India and the US are collaborating to bridge the digital divide and promote the safe use of AI. At a panel discussion, experts emphasized the partnership's role in enhancing AI for societal benefit and cyber defense. They highlighted the importance of shared values and ongoing technology cooperation, especially in critical sectors.

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 21-05-2024 09:25 IST | Created: 21-05-2024 09:25 IST
US-India Synergy: Bridging the Digital Divide and Advancing AI
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India and the US are working together to bridge the digital divide between the West and the Global South, a former senior White House official has said, underlining that the two nations were helping shape the framework for the ''responsible and safe'' use of Artificial Intelligence to benefit their societies.

Participating in a panel discussion on "Strategic Synergies: India-US Technology Cooperation" on Monday as part of the Motwani Jadeja US-India Dialogue Series, Lisa Curtis, a former White House officer from the Trump Administration, said that the two countries are cooperating to advance the use of AI in cyber defence and in protecting critical infrastructure.

"We're working together to bridge the digital divide between the West and the global South,'' said Curtis, who served as the South Asia point person for former president Donald Trump.

''I think India's leadership at the G20 last year, especially on digital public infrastructure, demonstrated this critical role that India will play in this endeavour,'' she said at the event organised by the Hudson Institute think-tank. ''Together, we are helping shape the framework for the responsible and safe use of AI," she said. "This is because our two countries share technology values that emphasise both a culture of innovation, but also rules that place human life and human dignity and progress at the centre of our AI research and development,'' she said.

She added that both nations want to harness the power of AI to benefit ''our societies and reduce the chances for the malign use of AI''.

At the same time, she said that it is hard to imagine that a continued close Russia-India defence relationship would not impact US-India defence ties in the future. ''I think India is confident that it can segment its relations with Russia and the United States and that it could put up firewalls that would safeguard US technology,'' she said. ''But I think the US will remain cautious and reluctant to link its secure networks to Indian platforms and share sensitive defence information when India is still heavily reliant on Russian platforms," Curtis said.

She added that the US-India technology cooperation in a potential future Trump administration could continue. ''The momentum we saw a flourishing of the US-India relationship during the previous Trump administration. We saw very good ties between the leadership between Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and President Trump when he was president,'' she said. ''I would fully expect that these two leaders would pick up the relationship where it left off, were we to see a second Trump administration," she said, ahead of the US presidential elections in November.

Vikram Singh from the United States-India Strategic Partnership Forum said the US and India have very deep ties at an official level, and the relationship has been improving since the low point of the post-Indian nuclear test in the late 90s. "From the end of the Clinton administration on, you see this sort of steady climb," he said.

The basis of the technology cooperation between India and the US has been that America built its engineering economy and built Silicon Valley on a lot of Indian talent, he said.

"It's no coincidence that the biggest technology companies in the United States are headed by immigrants from India. It's not a surprise. I grew up in Menlo Park, California, and my street had exactly one Indian family on it. That's me. That same street is now, I think, 70 per cent Indian families," Singh said.

"We have seen a blending of our talent, and that fed back into India's Silicon Valley, mostly Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, but increasingly all over the country,'' he said.

''This synergy is kind of an unstoppable flywheel. What governments have been doing in both cases is saying, we should get on that flywheel, and we should make sure that we're taking advantage where we can, and be careful to protect our equities where we must," he added.

India's Deputy Ambassador to the US, Sripriya Ranganathan, said that given New Delhi's focus and strategic objectives, given Washington's focus and strategic objectives, the shared value systems that the two nations have, they are natural partners. "There is so much that we can offer to each other, there is so much that we can expect from each other, that a strong India-US relationship makes not only our two countries stronger, but it also makes the world stronger," she said. ''Examples of this we have seen in very vivid and tangible terms during COVID when we appreciated for the first time just how important it is for us to be able to secure our supply chains not only in areas like defence and what are conventionally the national security priorities but also in areas which are softer like health where it is by working together that we were able to come out of the situation that we were faced with at that time and to also help countries around the world in meeting those challenges," she said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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