Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday urged IT experts in the island nation to promote Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, taking India and Sri Lanka as models.
He directed formation of a presidential task force comprising AI experts and prepare a concept paper to promote AI usage as done in the two Asian nations.
"When it comes to artificial intelligence, we should consider Singapore and India as role models. It is true that east Asia.... South Korea, Japan, and China are making progress in artificial intelligence, but no country in West Asia has reached that stage yet," Wickremesinghe said.
The Sri Lankan President said the country is aiming to create a digital economy and to meet the demands of the digital age, aiming to produce 10,000 engineers annually instead of present number 2, 500. He also highlighted the potential of AI in various fields, including agriculture, education, health, fisheries, and industry.
"We have identified the modernisation of agriculture and fisheries, tourism, and improvement of supply centres as urgent areas for development in our economic reforms. Additionally, we have placed a greater focus on the technology industry."
The President noted that the current annual contribution to Sri Lanka's gross national income through computer and information technology is around $1.9 billion, with no known amount from AI technology. He instructed officials to develop a system to track AI contributions and stressed the importance of taking prompt action to increase AI's contribution to the gross domestic product in the coming years.
He invited the private sector to join in the effort and said that the government plans to allocate Rs one billion for AI technology next year.
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