Thinking on similar lines, Prof. Santanu Chaudhury, Director, IIT Jodhpur also believes that an Academic Institution contributes to a field in 2 ways. One is by generating appropriate manpower and second by generating relevant technological know-how.
“I think IIT Jodhpur is contributing to both these aspects. In fact, we are currently running Post Graduate programmes in AI and an undergraduate programme in data science. These initiatives are to provide the appropriate manpower for the Indian and Global Industry,” Chaudhury said.
Through the courses of AI, IIT Jodhpur is contributing to the industry in a number of ways. Be it Medical Imaging, Robotics, Biometrics, Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, or Applications to Infrastructure Engineering, the institution has strong research programmes in all these areas and is contributing the know-how through publications and technology transfers.
A project that IIT Jodhpur is currently working on with an industry is to create a smart-board.
“The idea is if I write on a smart board, it should get immediately recognized and converted into a character stream like text and gets transmitted, stored, used,” Chaudhury explained.
“So whatever someone writes on the board, is converted into readable text in real time which can be transmitted, used for subsequent education and other purposes. It essentially involves handwriting recognition, recognition of languages so it translates into proper text for example a word document which someone else can read,” he added.
While all is exciting and good to work with the innovative technologies, one of the biggest challenges that the professionals face is the lack of high computational capabilities. Chaudhury believes since NVIDIA DGX 100 is the latest in terms of AI and is a very high computing platform it will surely benefit the research work of the academic institutions.
Citing an example he said, “If we were to look at the predictive maintenance of railway bridges, the volume of data that I need to deal with is huge. There are so many junctions, joints, sections and connectors. Taking this whole thing together to create a model, trying to simulate how it will age and the environmental factors that will impact it and then create an AI driven model for predictive maintenance is a huge computational task.
“We need to tackle these problems with high computational power which sometimes is beyond our reach. Hence, systems like DGX A100 will help solve the problem in a much better way because it has high computational capability,” he added.
He believes DGX 100 will give a boost to the quality of research work of the students and faculty.
To connect the intellect of students at IIT Jodhpur with the industry needs, the institution has created a technology innovation hub, iHub Drishti. The idea behind this is to blend the academic know-how with the industries’ need so that the knowledge can be transformed into an industrial application.
“Here in India, the development of innovative products is not in a high place. Reason being the gap between the industry and academia. So, we at IIT Jodhpur, have created a Technology Innovation Hub called iHub Drishti. We invite all the industries which are interested in AI to come, work and use the resources as well as the intellectual power of academicians at IIT Jodhpur to create innovations and fulfil the mission of self-reliant India” he concluded.