Chinar Quantum AI

   

As AI, data science and deep machine learning is dominating the scene, a group of Kashmir experts have joined their hands and heads to launch Kashmir’s first AI-training company, Raashid Andrabi reports

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Members of Kashmir Institute of Mathematical Sciences (KIMS) in a Srinagar meeting in October 2022

Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and deep machine learning have taken the world by storm. It is impacting everything from a classroom to an operation theatre. It is creating its own job regime.

In order to have its stakes in the post-AI world, a group of Kashmir experts have joined their heads and hands and have launched Chinar Quantum AI, Kashmir’s first artificial intelligence company. The brainchild of Rukhsan Ul Haq, a quantum physicist, currently with IBM, the objective is to “give the people of Kashmir students an opportunity to learn about AI and prepare them for an AI-driven future.”

Launched in early 2022, the start-up has two main goals: to provide industry training to youth interested in learning AI and to help them transition into the AI industry through internships and other support programmes. The company will offer a range of training and educational offerings, as well as industry transition programmes that will help people find jobs in the AI industry. “Many years before, no one knew of data science, but today it is a booming industry. Everyone wants to be a data scientist because it is a very sophisticated, challenging and interesting job,” said Rukhsan.

Junaid Akhter, the co-founder of Chinar Quantum AI is a graduate student in the department of “Data Science for Engineering” at the university of Paderborn, Germany. Junaid is on a mission to involve Kashmir in the ongoing technological revolution.

Besides, the emergence of quantum computing is expected to create new and exciting job opportunities. “I think these revolutions are creating more and new exciting job opportunities. AI is at its maturing phase, but quantum computing has a long way to go,” he added.

It is an era of information age, where speed and skill are essential. As machines perform more precise operations than humans in certain domains if programmed correctly, it is essential to adapt and embrace the new technological advancements to remain relevant in the job market.

Against this backdrop, Chinar Quantum AI plans to develop applications and solutions to assist Kashmiri organizations in adopting AI and improving their operations and output. “We have already established connections with a team of individuals in Kashmir who will be well-prepared to take on roles as data scientists and other positions in the AI industry by 2024,” Rukhsan said.

This initiative is particularly significant for Kashmir, which has high unemployment rates and limited opportunities for the new generation to gain the skills they need to secure well-paying jobs. By imparting the skills necessary to thrive in the field of AI, Chinar Quantum AI holds immense potential to alter the lives of several young people in Kashmir. Rukhsan asserts that “Academia alone is not sufficient, as lack of skills can impede progress.” Thus, Chinar Quantum AI will offer a platform to acquire such skills and progress in one’s career.

Follow up to KIMS

Chinar Quantum AI is a venture that has its roots in the Kashmir Institute of Mathematical Sciences, which was founded by Rukhsan. Akhtar said the primary objective of this initiative is to create a mathematical structure in Kashmir, which is currently lacking in the region. The ultimate goal is to bring about a positive transformation in the future and also to make a contribution to the economy of the region.

M Rukhsan ul Haq (Quantum Physicist)

Akhtar pointed out the company is not interested in doing any outsourced work from external companies. Instead, the focus is on developing their own ideas and strategies. The team is confident that their ideas will work and enable them to create world-class products.

The company has a diverse basket of professionals to work towards a single goal. “We have people from management, quantum physics, AI and machine learning,” Akhtar said. “We are ready to take this challenge and know how to make an impact and particularly know how to teach. We believe that the teaching system in Kashmir is failing. The kids are being misled. But we want to change this.”

Improving education is the key goal. The focus shall remain on technology and innovation. Akhtar believes that AI-based tools can help students learn in a better way.

“Our main goal is to improve education, so there is a lot of scope in creating AI-based tools that can help students learn in a better way,” Akhter said. “The last time I visited Kashmir; we visited almost six schools in the valley and interacted with students from 8th to 10th grade. These students were enthusiastic and already knew about these things, but they are waiting for people who can teach and lead them.” Akhter operates from Germany.

Akhtar said that the education system in Kashmir lacks technology-literate people. “This is where we intend to make a difference and goes all the way from school to higher education. And if you look at the new education policy, its core revolves around logical thinking and AI. So, things are changing, and we can first hit education with it.”

Outside Education

The start-up is also exploring the potential of AI in other industries such as medicine and agriculture. The team is well aware of the challenges these sectors face and believes that AI can play a crucial role in addressing these challenges.

Recently, Chinar Quantum AI hosted a talk at the Kashmir Institute of Mathematical Sciences (KIMS) featuring Dr Ivan, Kukuljan, a theoretical physicist who is currently working at intersection of AI and medicine. The talk was a great success and highlighted the immense potential of AI in the medical field. The company is keen on collaborating with experts like Dr Evan to develop AI-based solutions to improve healthcare services in Kashmir.

Besides, the start-up is exploring the potential of AI in agriculture. With a large percentage of the population in Kashmir depending on agriculture for their livelihoods, the team sees immense potential in developing AI-based solutions to enhance agricultural productivity, reduce waste and improve crop yields. Through collaboration with experts in the field of agriculture, the team at intends to work towards developing cutting-edge solutions that can transform the agricultural landscape in Kashmir.

Junaid Akhter

The team believes that AI can play a transformative role in various sectors and is working towards developing solutions that can bring about positive change in people’s lives.

AI has triggered a crisis across the globe as the job market is seriously impacted. People are scared of losing their jobs. “People are scared of losing jobs but nobody understands that we will also create an equal number of jobs. However, only those people who have the right skill set will be able to get these jobs and that’s what we need to keep people prepared for,” Akhtar said.

Ideas

Right now, the team of the new start-up is scattered around. Rukhsan is shuttling between Bangalore and Srinagar. Akhter is in Germany. They are meeting offline and online to discuss ideas and opportunities that the revolution has triggered.

“Our goal is to establish a strong foundation both offline and online, with an offline presence in every Kashmir district,” Akhter said. ”We will soon set up an AI-based lab in Kashmir that will train people, give them a transition to the AI world and provide services to the different organizations of the valley.”

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