Recently, the Pakistani government has allocated a budget of Rs 1.1 billion for the period of three years to start a project on Artificial Intelligence. The project will be carried out under the supervision of Higher Education Commission (HEC). The HEC shortlisted six public sector universities to set up nine labs to carry out research in the field of IA.
Dr. Yasir Ayaz from National University of Science and Technology (NUST)acknowledged this effort of government and mentioned that government has taken a right initiative, he has also been appointed as head of this venture by means of the HEC.
Dr. Yasir says:
“This is an era of fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) but Pakistan is still living in the second industrial revolution (Industry 2.0) era. We were lagging far behind the rest of the world as the developed countries have started using artificial intelligence to maximize the production of the industrial sector. The use of robotics in the warfare is becoming a routine matter whereas artificial intelligence is being used by the modern world for surveillance purpose”.
Total 19 universities from public and private sectors have applied after the announcement of this project by HEC. Six public sector universities were selected on the basis of equipment and faculty.
The six universities which are selected for this project include NUST, Islamabad, Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) University, NED UET Karachi, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar, UET Lahore and University of Punjab Lahore.
NUST will be the headquarter for this venture and it is going to arrange two laboratories i.e. Intelligent Robotics Lab and Deep Learning Lab. The CIIT University will arrange Medical Imaging and Diagnostic Lab. NED UET Karachi has been granted for two labs i.e. Smart City Lab, Neuro Computation Lab.
UET Lahore has given the approval of establishing an Intelligent Criminology Lab and Punjab University will develop Agent-Based Computational Modeling Lab. Each college will be offering Masters and Ph.D. methods in AI field.