By Prashansa Srivastava
If data is the new oil, Intel is trying to be its most significant refinery. In a move to usher in the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution in the country, Intel India held its first AI Day Conference on 4th April 2017 with representatives from the industry, government and academia gathering to discuss the prospects of AI in India. Intel had earlier hosted similar ‘AI Days’ in the USA and China and aims to head to Japan next, as part of its global road-map.
Intel leads the way for artificial intelligence in India
The event kick-started with Prakash Mallya, Managing Director, Intel South Asia explaining how the world is talking about the idea of Machine Learning – a type of AI that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.
Intel India has announced an educational program for the country’s developer community. Under this program, the company would train 15,000 professionals and give them exposure to emerging AI technologies like Deep Learning and Machine Learning.
It is evident that Intel is taking a bullish stance on AI in India due to the easy access of data and talent. According to Pradeep Dubey, Director Of Parallel Computing Lab, India is very well suited for working on problems around AI because it has the connectivity and the scale required to generate a large amount of data.
Potential of AI in the country
Describing AI as the next generation of computing, Mallya said that it would positively impact the government, health, and IT sectors. Improved productivity, ease of usage and increased consumer satisfaction are some factors that are responsible for the expected growth of AI in India.
There are over 170 Indian startups focusing solely on AI. E-commerce has already been actively leveraging data analytics, and educational institutes such as IIT Patna have been conducting cutting-edge research and development in AI.
AI stealing jobs?
The future of jobs due to the emergence of AI seems to be in jeopardy. A report by the World Economic Forum estimates that nearly 5.1 million jobs would be lost by 2021 due to the advent of artificial intelligence. Though India is among the top countries in terms of the number of engineering graduates, the talent here has traditionally been focused on IT and not research and innovation.
The prolonged time period taken to fill up positions and a lack of PhD degrees in AI related technologies are all indicators of India’s shortcomings. AI will drastically influence the likes of assembly line workers and clerical workers whose jobs require an average level of skill. It is important for policymakers to closely examine the advent of AI and prepare itself for the challenges posed by a machine intelligence-driven economy in the future.
Role of the Government
Intel’s promises on incorporating AI in healthcare, disaster mitigation and financial services are not possible without the complete cooperation of the government. Policymakers must make AI a critical component of the Prime Minister’s Make in India, Skill India, and Digital India programmes and work alongside the private sector. Currently, AI innovations have been restricted to consumer goods. For India to benefit from the AI revolution, it must adopt a conscious policy to drive AI innovation in other sectors as well.
Featured Image Source: TechM@NTR
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius