Artificial Intelligence Deemed A Game Changer In India
India is well-positioned to make the best of the opportunity that AI presents, in terms of citizen welfare and the robust health of the economy. The next five years have been earmarked for pace and trend of AI adoption.
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Our lives will soon be driven by AI, be it for healthcare, education civic issues, governance, transportation, law enforcement, justice system and agriculture.
As a developing economy, India has kept pace with its global peers and developed countries in the context of recognizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a deep technology that will redefine and impact a paradigm shift in all spheres of life. In 2018, Government of India published two AI roadmaps – the Report of Task Force on Artificial Intelligence by the AI Task Force established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence by NITI AAYOG. All national approaches to AI are of the opinion that will impact the economy significantly as it is purported increase productivity, increase employment opportunities and create wealth.
AI will be all Pervasive
Our lives will soon be driven by AI, be it for healthcare, education civic issues, governance, transportation, law enforcement, justice system and agriculture. Primarily AI will impact the lives of masses. The strongest rationale for AI innovation as a legitimate objective of public policy is its concrete impact on betterment of people’s lives by helping solve some of the nation’s biggest challenges with the potential to emerge as a transformative technology.
Role of Educational Institutions
Leading research based education institutions in the country are in the forefront of building expertise in this disruptive technology. Other Educational institutions, specifically Engineering Institutions are preparing to adopt to academic programs for their students in this technology. However, AI is expected to have impact across all areas and hence, there is a need to have Medical Students, Finance Professionals and Management students to have necessary exposure as well. Apart from this, school could include AI learning in their STEM curriculum since the world students are exposed to today is driven by AI.
While these activities will enable a pipeline for the future needs, it is equally important for the existing workforce to be up skilled to adopt to this technology. It is estimated that 75% of the projects is expected to have some component of AI built in and hence it is absolutely necessary for the existing workforce to build expertise in this area. Leading research institutions have come out with executive programs focused on enabling this.
AI and Indian Job Market Dynamics
While India was way behind the US in adoption of automation, in terms of AI, the adoption will be faster. On the workforce side, India has abundant engineering talent, which only needs to the channelled into a new direction. Mathematicians, coders and statisticians too, are being produced in large numbers across the country. All these are sure to keep pace with genuine cutting-edge technology such as AI. The skilled, yet routine work presents a huge opportunity for Machine Learning and Automation.
Employment and future dynamics of work have also been spelt as a key focus area. For any government to implement a national strategy and realize the true potential of AI, it is necessary to provide supporting mechanisms like national institutions which drive AI research and innovation, capacity building, upskilling and re-skilling the workforce to adapt to changing technological landscapes. NASSCOM estimates that Indian IT industry will require 140,000 professionals with expertise in AI and data sciences by 2020.
Many interesting partnerships have been created to enable this transition. For example IIIT-Hyderabad, which runs a strong Machine Learning Research Lab and TalentSprint have launched an executive program in 2018 with an objective to get 10,000 professionals with AI expertise by 2020. NASSCOM’s Centre of Excellence for Data Science & Artificial Intelligence (CoE-DSAI) have acknowledged this as an ecosystem partner for skill development in AI.
Promoting AI Research
Collaborations between the education institutions and industry players need to champion the cause of accessibility and innovation through greater R&D funding. TCS has funded IIIT Hyderabad’s Kohli Research Center and promotes research in various AI areas. The research in this area is expanding and many such industry and Government is also expected to play its part.
Future of AI in India
India is well-positioned to make the best of the opportunity that AI presents, in terms of citizen welfare and the robust health of the economy. The next five years have been earmarked for pace and trend of AI adoption. The NITI AAYOG Report predicts that India will leverage AI as a ‘garage’ for emerging economies. This is a positive factor since it catapults India to the leadership position, both technically and normatively in determining future use cases for AI in India. Hence, guiding standards can be developed that require projects to have tangible benefits for India.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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