TechPakistan

Pakistan’s place in Artificial Intelligence

By Disha Dil Muhammad

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be simply defined as intelligence of machines, unlike the natural intelligence of humans which involves consciousness and emotions. AI stemmed on the basis that if human intelligence can be understood and described, then a machine can be made to simulate it.

In the 21st century, AI techniques have experienced huge advances in computing power and handling large amounts of data by machines. AI has become an essential part of the Tech industry, helping to solve many challenging problems in computer science, software engineering and research.

Pakistan’s initiatives in AI technology

Pakistan’s government took several steps to establish the Presidential Initiative for Artificial Intelligence & Computing (PIAIC). With a mission to reshape the education of technology in Pakistan, the current President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi took a step ahead by launching the PIAIC. PIAIC aimed to offer programs and certifications to the in fields like Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) at affordable and subsidised fee. PIAIC catered to individuals living in 28 cities of Pakistan as well as overseas Pakistanis. The goal was to promote the scope of Artificial Intelligence in Pakistan. Artificial intelligence (AI) in Pakistan is evolving rapidly and poised to grow significantly over the coming decade.

AI virtual assistant

AI is being used to make effective decisions in healthcare, science, medicine, sports, and many other fields. It is performing tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. A virtual assistant is a software that can provide assistance or perform tasks for the user on instructions or queries.

Pakistan’s first AI app

Pakistan’s Start-up Company “The Creative Verge” developed Pakistan’s first AI Virtual Assistant called “Vassist” in 2018. Similar to Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant & Cortana, the AI virtual assistant can manage your calendar & schedule your appointments. Vassist’s services are improving and expanding rapidly. It is listed by the name of ‘Vassist’ on the Google Play Store.

World’s first Urdu AI app

In 2019, in collaboration with Genesys, a company called C-Square, launched the world’s first Urdu-speaking AI Bot called “RUBA” at the Smart CX conference held in Karachi. RUBA is a short form for Real Urdu Bot Automation. The Bot can understand spoken Urdu and work as your personal assistant in performing different tasks such as messaging or calling someone. Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron), Shehryar Khan Afridi, respected the efforts of C-Square Company, saying that Pakistan is headed in the right direction in terms of technology. This was a brilliant initiative and needed to be appreciated considering most people in Pakistan speak Urdu Language and find it easier to communicate in Urdu.

What the future of AI holds

The criss-cross of global competition for Artificial Intelligence (AI) among the great powers and major countries has triggered a wave of excelling in the AI technologies around the world. In recent years, many countries have formulated their national Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategies and are implementing them in order to remain relevant in economic and security affairs.

Pakistan has already missed the industrial and information revolutions in the past and now cannot afford to miss this AI revolution. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will open many doors for Pakistan’s progress in tech, economy, and national security.

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