Friday October 18, 2019

United Nations, Tech Giants Lead Push for Green Tech Solutions

Other new work areas under the forum will cover sustainable cities and food systems and private sector leadership on climate change

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Flag of the United Nations, wikimedia

The United Nations, tech giants and the finance, policy and and science fraternities on Saturday teamed up to push the use of cutting-edge technology to create cleaner, greener and more efficient solutions to sustainable development.

Around 2,000 people, including representatives from IBM, Google and Barclays, attended the 2nd global session of the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum here in the run-up to the fourth UN Environment Assembly, beginning on March 11.

The forum launched initiatives on using big data, machine learning and green technology startups to solve major environmental, economic and social problems, said UN Environment, the leading global environmental authority.

The forum also launched works on sustainable cities, food systems and private sector leadership on climate change.

“There is no doubt that rapid technological advancement played a major part in the troubles we face,” said an official statement quoting UN Environment acting Executive Director Joyce Msuya.

“But it is that technology — through humanity’s ability to invent and innovate — which can help to save us. The 4th Industrial Revolution offers a real opportunity to create cleaner, greener and more efficient solutions to sustainable development,” the statement said.

The working group aims to build an open-source platform for big data on environment and explore new spaces in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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UN logo. Wikimedia Commons

It unites tech giants, earth observation institutions, science and policy communities, green tech startups, citizen scientists and the worlds of finance and industry.

“We can’t ensure implementation of the 2030 agenda without concrete data, which allows us to identify opportunities, ensure evidence-based decision making, direct investment and track progress,” said Siim Kiisler, President of the UN Environment Assembly and Minister of Environment in Estonia.

“I am confident that we will make immense progress,” Kiisler said.

Also Read- Gut Microbiota Helps to Maintain Body Temperature in Cold Conditions

Meanwhile, the Green Technology Startup Hub will act as an accelerator and incubator of startup innovation for environment, as it examines the enabling policies and actions required to use such innovation to transform the world into greener and more sustainable living.

Startups are not only transforming markets and economic growth, some are also helping to save the planet. Venture capital investment in startups has surged to its highest level ever — $148 billion in the last year alone. More than 40 venture capital-backed companies have achieved billion-dollar valuations.

Other new work areas under the forum will cover sustainable cities and food systems and private sector leadership on climate change. (IANS)

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Tech Giants to Train Indian Government Officials in AI, Cloud

We have had successful meetings with senior government leaders on this subject as AWS is already leading in skilling the students

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Tech Giants, Indian, Government
This is the right time to skill them, train them in AI-enabled Cloud computing so that India can move faster on embracing new-age technologies. Pixabay

As the Narendra Modi government goes bullish on emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud computing, Blockchain and data analytics, the daunting task ahead is to train millions of government officials so that these disruptive technologies can be optimised for the benefit of over one billion-plus people.

Beyond skilling students, young coders and entrepreneurs in emerging technologies, the onus is now on tech giants to train the men in the system — especially in the information technology (IT) departments — and Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is retail giant Amazon’s Cloud arm, is set to embark on this journey.

There is already a lot of talk happening within the government agencies about the success they have had after moving to Cloud.

“This is the right time to skill them, train them in AI-enabled Cloud computing so that India can move faster on embracing new-age technologies. We have had successful meetings with senior government leaders on this subject as AWS is already leading in skilling the students and upskilling the workforce in the country,” Peter Moore, Regional Managing Director for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Global Public Sector — APAC and Japan, told IANS.

Tech Giants, Indian, Government
Beyond skilling students, young coders and entrepreneurs in emerging technologies, the onus is now on tech giants to train the men in the system — especially in the information technology (IT) departments — and Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is retail giant Amazon’s Cloud arm. Pixabay

According to Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services, training relevant government employees is the key to fulfil the mission of Prime Minister Modi who aims to create a Cloud-first approach towards skilling and digital transformation, thus empowering over a billion people.

“It is high time the Indian government deploys AI and Machine Learning-driven Cloud models to make sense of the humongous sets of data. Training is a crucial part of this exercise,” Carlson told IANS.

As part of its vision to provide a “One Government” experience to citizens, the Modi government is moving forward rapidly to implement the India Enterprise Architecture (IndEA) — a single window digitisation solution for cashless, paperless and faceless services. This will require a quicker and seamless implementation of AI-driven Cloud across the spectrum.

Microsoft India is also not behind on its vision to train Indian government officials in emerging technologies.

Also Read- Additional Steps to Provide Further Impetus to Indian Economy

The company last month announced the “Digital Governance Tech Tour” programme to skill government IT officials in technologies like AI and intelligent Cloud computing.

Microsoft will organise a series of physical and virtual workshops to train 5,000 government IT personnel over a period of 12 months.

“The first-of-its-kind ‘Digital Governance Tech Tour’ for government officials reiterates our commitment of being a trusted partner to the government by enabling and empowering officials to do more with technology in service of the citizens,” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.

Tech Giants, Indian, Government
There is already a lot of talk happening within the government agencies about the success they have had after moving to Cloud. Pixabay

According to NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, as India moves beyond pilots and understands how to scale AI implementation and Cloud adoption across states and sectors, “it is vital to equip the ecosystem with the right know-how and skills”.

Also Read- Swachh Bharat Mission of Modi Government is an “Example-Setting Programme for World”

As India advances towards fulfilling its vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy, applying AI and data analytics using secure and compliant Cloud-based tools can provide actionable, predictive and effective citizen-focused services. (IANS)