India seeks Artificial Wisdom and plans city-scale digital twin

Calls for collaborators willing to play buzzword bingo on project – 5G, IoT, AI, AR/VR, blockhain, Web3, and plenty more besides

India's government has created a project it hopes will result in creation of a city-scale digital twin to help the nation improve future urban planning.

The Sangam: Digital Twin initiative will commence with a phase that India's government has billed as "for clarity of horizon and creative exploration to unleash potential."

Next will come an effort to stage practical demonstration of specific use cases – "generating a future blueprint that may serve as a roadmap to scale and replicate successful strategies in future infrastructure projects through collaboration."

You read that right: a blueprint that can serve as a roadmap. Don't blame us.

To make all this management-speak into reality, India's government wants help from creators of virtual worlds, providers of compute power (at scale), entities capable of integrating sensors into wider systems, and sources of data that describes how people move around Indian cities.

Geospatial data specialists are also sought, along with representatives of utilities.

Private-sector startups and academics alike have been asked to join in.

For now, India's government has asked only for expressions of interest. No timeline for delivery of the city-scale digital twin has been made public.

An ambitious project like Sangam would keep plenty of governments busy. Yet this week India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) fired off a Call for project proposals for Innovative R&D in emerging areas of Information Technology [PDF] seeking proposals for research in the following 22 categories.

Quantum Technology Geoinformatics
Blockchain Non-fungible Tokens
Perception and Cognitive Engineering Non-financial Web3 Applications
AR/VR/Metaverse Digital Twins
Multisensory Immersion AI
Deepfake Artificial Wisdom
Edge computing Brain Computer Interface
Industry 5.0 Big Data Analytics
Society 5.0 Green Computing
Spatial computing Digital Preservation
Neuromorphic computing FOSS for societal applications

Proposals are welcome from anyone who can demonstrate they have appropriate research capabilities and facilities. Projects will be well regarded if they can produce results in two or three years.

Sadly, MeitY's call for proposals doesn't offer a definition for Artificial Wisdom. The Register spotted a paper on the topic that describes human wisdom as a complex trait developed in response to experience, and intelligence as a capability.

But we digress. MeitY has given boffins until February 29 to apply for its grants here. Expressions of interest in Sangam should be lodged by March 15, here. ®

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