SLASSCOM urges proactive policy on AI | Daily News


SLASSCOM urges proactive policy on AI

  Trine Jøranli Eskedal &    Ranil Rajapakse
Trine Jøranli Eskedal & Ranil Rajapakse

Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) yesterday stressed on the importance of formulating a proactive policy and building capacity around Artificial intelligence (AI) to take the ICT industry to the next level.

SLASSCOM Chairman Ranil Rajapakse speaking at the SLASSCOM AI Asia Summit 2019, held in Colombo yesterday stated that it is essential to expand capacity and knowledge in terms of AI and AI related technology to realise Sri Lanka’s ambitious target of becoming a hub for knowledge and innovation.

“We’re doing a lot of work in terms of software development and service delivery within Sri Lanka and through that we’ve managed to develop the industry to a USD 1.2 billion industry. But if we’re to take it to the next level, we also need to look at moving up the value chain to add high value and bring in more revenue to the industry,” Rajapakse said.

He said further that industries, academia, the government and other agencies should get together to see how Sri Lanka could enhance education, skills development in terms of technologies related around AI.

“It’s not just about building new capacity or new skills, but also about re-skilling , re-training our existing workforce as we move on to new areas such as automation and AI. AI is now becoming widespread and the adoption of AI is slowly taking take place in our day today lives. Hence, it is also imperative to adopt policies around ethics, security whilst promoting the adoption of AI across the government, industries and communities at large,” Rajapakse said.Speaking at the event, Norway Ambassador to Sri Lanka Trine Jøranli Eskedal said the embassy singed an agreement which is a two year commitment to foster collaboration in the ICT industry with SLASSCOM. It is also aligned with vision 2025 for the future of digital Sri Lanka which has the emphasis on IT education and harnessing future techniques. Moreover, building business linkages between Norway and Sri Lankan companies is also a key objective of this program, Ambassador Eskedal emphasised.

“In Norway, we believe that AI has the potential to have a huge impact on development of the society. It also has the potential to improve public sector services, and contribute to increase the wealth creation, growth in trade and investment. At the same time, AI has some of the challenges; they’re specially related to ethics, protection of personal data. We think that AI has the potential to revolutionize the public sector too. We strongly believe that technology must serve the people. It is also crucial that solutions must safeguard rights such as protection of data and so on.

She emphasised that key industry players in Sri Lanka must take the lead to use AI to create better systems and also to share knowledge and expertise with each other.” Ambassador Eskedal added.

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