Indian companies and start-ups are focusing on developing conversational bots, speech recognition tools, intelligent digital assistants and conversational services to be built over social media channels
Artificial Intelligence will undoubtedly reshape the business, making our lives easier and more sufficient. AI is seen as an indispensable tool for supporting humans in every aspect of life. In the future, it will be the driving force for the Industrial revolution mainly driven by data, networks and computing power.
“The two fundamental pillars of digital transformation for any organization- “Speed” and “Customer Centric Innovation” which are on the top of CXOs’ minds. Every enterprise is dealing with two basic questions, “How fast can you innovate?” and “Can you innovate fast enough?” That said we see two broad technology trends answering the aforementioned questions emerging across the board, “Cloud Native” and “AI”. On one hand, enterprises who are in the experimentation and migration stages of cloud adoption have realized that the benefits of cloud go well beyond apex optimization to the acceleration of contextual innovation. And on the other hand, we see widespread adoption of NLP and cognitive computing to provide augmented/assistive intelligence and personalized experiences to customers. With Millennial in focus for most enterprises, delivering personalization has become important now more than ever. CXOs expect AI and specifically deep learning to pave the path to achieve such targeted personalization” said Anup Nair, VP, and CTO, Mphasis Digital.
Challenges In Application Of AI
There are significant needs to automate the M2M or machine to human interactions to enable failure prevention. The biggest challenges in this area are changing the individual mindset and attract the right talent.
Sindhu Joseph, CEO, and Co-Founder, Cognicor said “From the perspective of applying AI, one of the key challenges is about the gradual rollout process that needs to be adopted for businesses. As systems need time to optimally learn user behavior and build patterns out of the same, it is better if it becomes a gradual rollout.”
According to Kartik Iyengar, SVP-IoT, Cognitive, Robotics, VirusaPolaris, the potential of AI extends far beyond helping a given business run faster or more efficiently. Along they will bring disruptive changes and give rise to new problems that can challenge the economic, legal and ethical fabric of our societies. Some of them are:
Jobs: Traditionally, automation has been eating away blue collar jobs for decades and huge leaps in AI have accelerated this process whilst propagating it to other sectors/domains as well. It is true that AI revolution will create plenty of new skilled jobs but the problem is, for the most part, the people who are losing their jobs don’t have the skill sets to fill the vacant positions.
Responsibility: When the boundaries of responsibility are blurred between the user, developer and data trainer, every party involved can lay the blame on someone else in case of software or hardware malfunctions. This can become an issue when AU algorithms start making critical decisions. New regulations must be put in place to clearly predict and address legal issues that will surround AI in the near future.
Privacy: In the hunt of more and more data, companies may trek into the unmapped territory and cross privacy boundaries. Implementation of AI and ML can impersonate people by imitating their handwriting, voice, conversation style and unprecedented power that can come in handy in a number of dark scenarios.
Prakash Mallya, Managing Director, Sales and Marketing Group India, Intel said “Currently, the lack of insights to drive deep learning systems is a major challenge as vast amounts of data collected are not transmitted to systems. Data collected further needs to be analyzed to make effective decisions based on algorithms, and we must work together as an industry and as a society to help achieve the ultimate potential. The Indian data market is growing rapidly with the central government’s push for digitization which means increasing opportunities for using AI in the country.”
How AI Helps Organizations?
Most AI applications are designed with a narrow focus so they perform some fairly complex tasks like scheduling business meetings and answering common customer requests. Automation helps productivity in teams, identifying the right use-cases and automating them helps organizations to reduce the effort spent on supporting applications and infrastructures.
Rohan Angrish, CTO of Capital Float said, “We use AI internally to allocate work within our company and also use it to make suggestions regarding loan decisions. Certain loan application processes are driven end-to-end by machines and disburse in as little as 90 seconds from the time of first signing on to our system.”
“In 2017, our company built Cognitive Customer Experience Platform, a ‘Cotelligent’ Platform where human and machine intelligence converges to provide a sophisticated, automated solution. Cognitive Customer Experience Platform integrates with all customer channels like voice, email, chat, and website across devices, giving a consistent customer experience. It is designed to offer personalized and context-driven support, with a human-like interaction. It aims to resolve a customer’s needs at first interaction by using NLP, AI, machine learning and deep learning techniques,” said Vasudevan Sundarababu, Digital Services Head, CSS Corp.
The scope of AI in the Indian Market
AI-based applications today have already touched people’s lives in ways that are often not fully speculated. Until now, this subtle proliferation of AI technology was driven largely by the private sector and focused primarily on consumer goods.
“Indian companies and start-ups are focusing on developing conversational bots, speech recognition tools, intelligent digital assistants and conversational services to be built over social media channels which are purely driven by the need in Indian market unlike driverless cars and others in U.S. market,” said Badrinarayanan Jagannathan, Vice President IT Applications Management, Juniper Networks IEC.
He further added, “Embracing automation is a necessity in the current environment. It plays a key role in enabling productivity, improve customer service and enable businesses to grow more agile. This will trigger a new wave of growth in generating newer jobs. The key for individuals is their ability to be flexible and re-skill to develop and succeed.”
Ritesh Gandotra as Director – Global Document Outsourcing, Xerox India said, “AI will eventually replace many routine functions of the IT organization, particularly on the operations side, such as in system administration, help desk, project management, and application support. With advances in artificial intelligence technology, machines will successfully emulate human cognition.”
What Talents Companies Are Hiring?
AI revolution is creating plenty of new data science, machine learning, engineering and IT job positions to develop and maintain the AI systems and software. “Unfortunately, the supply is not that great and the real focus should be on upskilling and cross-skilling our existing workforce. The battle for top AI talent only gets tougher from here. At VirtusaPolaris, we tie up with universities and engage them in CoE (Center of Excellence) program to get the right data science consultants and AI engineers.” said Iyengar.
Another company, Cognicor is mostly looking at engineers and mathematicians specialized in AI, computational linguistics and knowledge management sciences. “We are looking at hiring some of the premium talents in the country and train them with latest commercial exposure to AI sciences. Getting access to the research opportunities in the latest AI has been a great incentive for attracting some of the best talents in this area,” said Sindhu Joseph.
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