India can bite into the global AI pie: ETILC members.
SOURCE: Economic Times
The ETILC Technology subcommittee convened on 29th June 2021 to examine the current AI, ML & NLP landscape along with the prospect of expanding and innovating the same in the Indian tech industry, covering sectors like retail, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, and many more. This third meeting in the series was focused on how global AI development is currently under the monopoly of the Silicon Valley companies, leaving India straggling. However, the members predicted a vast possibility and ways of overturning these analytics and adopting these technologies ethically.
Growth Of The Industry
“The Artificial Intelligence Industry which is today at about $60-65 billion globally in terms of scale and size is likely to grow to be a $300 billion industry by 2026 which is a compounded annual growth rate of about 33 per cent,” remarks Nitin Sahni, Founder & CEO, Kamadhenu Technologies and Chairman, ETILC Technology Subcommittee. The opportunities are immense and Indian tech companies can find a space for themselves in this ecosystem considering the level of talent in the country and the kind of investment it is attracting from both domestic and international VCs.
In addition to the benefits of AI and ML, the session puts forth the negative impacts inherent in AI innovation. As its integration with everyday functions along with more complex software increases, it faces exponential growth in its challenges, be it short-term, mid-term, or long-term drawbacks. Even today, in many software engineering spaces, algorithmic biases lead to gendered segregation along with racial prejudice. Moreover, the threat of technological singularity, prospective employment losses owing to automation, and security hazards like facial recognition, hacking, and deepfakes have further made apparent the moral and ethical dilemma at hand. It is significant on the part of industry leaders to understand these risks and to tackle the same using internal as well as external transparency concerning the data usage.
With hyper-personalization in the retail sector, and managing contactless regulation in the hospitality industry, the geospatial systems are working on integrating AI in the automotive world as well. In relation to the creation of AI engines, Sridhar Dharmarajan, EVP & MD, Hexagon & MSC Software says, “We have built our own AI engine where the knowledge of the various simulations is captured, and then the system actually learns how to behave in a particular way even if it encounters a new situation.” India is playing a leading role in the area of autonomous vehicles. For example, the India R&D centres of many international firms are ahead of the curve compared to their global counterparts. It is these technologies that can help India to leapfrog.
On the combination of hardware and artificial intelligence, Mathew Chacko, CEO, Precision Infomatic while discussing one of his ingenious products, says, “One of the challenges that is prevailing in biometrics is spoofing and AI comes in very handy here. The System on Chip (SOC) fingerprint sensor that we use has an AI engine and algorithms built into the sensor itself, which can differentiate between a live finger and a spoof finger.” India doesn't yet have the technology infrastructure to build such a system on chips, but this will help to eliminate spoofs that are possible in biometric-based recognition. This company has combined PKI (Public Key Infrastructure), offered through a certified security controller along with this fingerprint sensor to offer identity management solutions, so that customers can enjoy password-less authentication access to various IT assets.
The ecommerce industry is completely changing in terms of AI-based transportation, optimization of route planning and delivery schedules. It was a B2C model which gained a lot of traction in this segment but now even B2B is following suit. Adding insights from the logistics sector, Karthi Baskar, JMD, KWE India, commented, “We can see that complete tech connectivity, end to end now, not only within India but globally as well.”
In the manufacturing sector, automation can have a significant impact on optimizing inventory. But in India, very few factories are fully autonomous. Panasonic life Solutions, which is the largest manufacturer of modular and non-modular electrical switches in India uses this technology efficiently. It focuses on producing millions of plastic and metal pieces every month for switches, sockets, and regulators, while ensuring that the process is optimized, and each piece of metal has the same specifications. “As we are going towards automation, we are realizing that even a small deviation in the dimensions of these products could be a habit in an automated line,” says Dinesh Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, Head – New Business (ISAMEA Region), Panasonic Life Solutions. Furthermore, he adds, “From being a company which had no automation, with all processes being manual, we've now taken this journey of partly automating processes like quality checks.”
Impact & Projections
There is a raging debate globally on the subject of automation and how it will cost us millions of jobs, having the same chaotic impact The Great Depression had. But Vijayashree Natarajan, SVP, Head of Technology, Omega Healthcare Management Services says both collective intelligence and social responsibility for automation are possible. “Collective intelligence helps us achieve objectives that wouldn’t be possible without the combination of human prowess and computing power. We cannot wish technology away. However, what we must do is re-skill individuals whose jobs are at risk in the next decade.”
With Indian digital innovation moving at a quicker pace than ever and the emergence of cutting-edge services in areas like IoT, AI, and ML, the possibilities of technological progress are only bound to grow. Singaravelu Ekambaram, SVP, Head of Global Delivery for Enterprise Application Services at Cognizant predicts that providing top services in the AI sector will include resiliency and automatic failover services in the cloud ecosystem a surge in healthcare diagnostic tools, advanced retail services, predictive modeling across industries and a thriving industry around augmented and virtual reality. With Covid-19 being predicted to prevail in various strains for some time to come, the healthcare industry will see tremendous technological impact. Piyush Jha Chief of Technology & Strategy, (APAC) GlobalLogic adds, the current process of a doctor consulting a patient is tedious and dependent on information that’s offline, for example paper prescriptions and notes. We’re already working on an NLP technology where the entire interaction becomes hands free and digital - the prescription gets generated while the doctor is interacting with the patients. Thereafter, we use ML Edge technologies to for additional assistance or prompting a correction.” Apart from healthcare, we can also expect the adoption of AI with other emerging industries like Retail, IoT, financial services, and travel.
Speakers, ETILC Technology Subcommittee
- Nitin Sahni, Founder & CEO, Kamadhenu Technologies
- Sridhar Dharmarajan, EVP & MD, Hexagon & MSC Software
- Mathew Chacko, CEO, Precision Infomatic
- Karthi Baskar, JMD, KWE India
- Dinesh Aggarwal, JMD, Head – New Business (ISAMEA Region), Panasonic Life Solutions
- Vijayashree Natarajan, SVP, Head of Technology, Omega Healthcare
- Singaravelu Ekambaram, SVP / Head of Global Delivery for Enterprise Application Services at Cognizant
- Dharmesh Parekh, Executive Vice President at NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd (NSDL e-Gov)
- Piyush Jha, Chief of Technology & Strategy, APAC | SVP, Digital, GlobalLogic