Experts call for democratization of research in Artificial intelligence


As India steps on the cusp of digital revolution, the country needs collaboration and integration of public and private sector supplemented by efforts of highly qualified academia to harness the immense potential and develop the Artificial Intelligence ecosystem. These views were expressed by an eminent panel of leaders from industry, government and academia at “The Rise of AI-Preneurs”, a webinar organized by TechArc, a leading technology analytics, research and consultancy firm in association with Compass IDC, the overseas development centre of Urban Compass Inc., a US-headquartered technology platform.

The panel called for democratization of research in AI and also discussed the power of huge data for developing ‘intelligence’ for organizations.  The panelists unanimously agreed that India has immense potential to leverage AI and each sector is a huge opportunity in itself as India leaps ahead with digital transformation in the coming decade.

Joseph Sirosh, Global CTO, Compass, said, “I have been working with AI for over 3 decades now and there has never been a time as exciting as now, both in theoretical and practical terms. We’ve come a long way from AI being purely dedicated to machine learning on structured numerical data and being significantly limited by data availability. Deep Learning and pre-trained systems like Transformer Networks have widened the application of AI to all types of unstructured data, including images, speech, videos, text and social network analysis, and natural language processing. AI has now invaded almost the entire digital realm accelerating automation across industries, creating meaningful user interactions, and leveraging valuable insights from transactions.”

Anna Roy, Sr Advisor, NITI Aayog, said, “Industry and academia need to collaborate with the government with a long-term vision with regards to developing a robust ecosystem that addresses both the needs of basic research and domain specific applied developments. Equally important is AI adoption where governments have a crucial role to play in developing policies which ease the adoption of AI.”

Dr Nikhil Agarwal, CEO – FIRST & C3i Hub, IIT Kanpur, said, “The good news about the Indian Startup industry is that it has now become the third-largest country for startups & the best part about it is that a variety of them are driven by AI. We need to create awareness amongst people that AI is not going to replace us. All that AI will do is make things easier for us.”

Prof. Mausam, Head of School of Artificial Intelligence (ScAI) IIT Delhi, said, “The Indian AI industry still needs to catch up fast with the other aspects such as readiness, deployment & the number of AI researchers. The amalgamation of the right set of people, strong computing infrastructure and the right data, together, can help build a strong AI. This will happen only through robust industry-academia collaboration.”

The event was moderated by Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, TechArc. “In AI, everyone is solving problems and they have to invent solutions. Therefore, everyone working in AI is an entrepreneur as they are all inventing and innovating on a daily basis,” said Faisal.

The key takeaways that emerged from the panel discussion were that the government has already outlined its priorities with respect to AI. Globally, companies and organisations are leveraging AI to unleash the power of huge data which resides with them and India has immense potential to leverage from AI as well.

Ramesh has over 12 years of experience in different departments of journalism. Having a strong nose for news, he has worked with The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Delhi Press, News Wire Service and Governance Today in different capacities. He is a Delhi University graduate and an alumnus of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Delhi, and St. Xavier's School, Muzaffarpur. He loves writing over issues of social relevance. His craving for smart technology brought him to My Mobile where he has grown up to be a tech journo.

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