India advances AI amid talent and scalability challenges

India advances AI amid talent and scalability challenges

In a cinema hall of Mirage Cinemas across India, a Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms are at work, calculating the number of occupied seats in real time and feeding that data into dashboards for cinema operators to track occupancy rates.

Dhawal Mehta, general manager, systems and IT, Mirage Cinemas, said automated occupancy detection systems can reduce the need for custom-built, non-invasive and labor-intensive visual inspections for cinema halls.

“We now have real-time data, which enables us to compare historical occupancy data across locations to drive insights into patron behavior,” said Mehta, adding that the insights also help improve movie distributors’ confidence in Mirage’s patron occupancy rate.

If cinema seats are finding new eyes, factories are not far behind. Hindalco, a supplier of aluminum and copper materials with 15 sites and thousands of assets, turned to AI to solve problems with its assets before they fail.

through training Machine learning models To anticipate anomalies and failures, Hindalco’s predictive maintenance initiative has helped the company save hours of downtime at one of its plants and increase annual production by 110 tonnes.

Biswajit Mohapatra, principal analyst at Forrester noted that AI adoption in India is on the right track, adding that the focus has shifted from generating business insights to automating business infrastructure.

“We’ve also seen uses for AI and machine learning The digital twin That spans automation, real-time decision making and strategic modeling in India,” he added.

One of the reasons for the growing use of AI in India is the ongoing efforts of the government To increase the production capacity of the country.

“Due to the Modi government’s Made in India focus, manufacturing has taken center stage as has services,” said Rohit Kochhar, founder, executive chairman and CEO of Bart Labs, a technology services provider specializing in AI and the Industrial Internet. of Things (IoT) applications

“India had to adapt to compete with other manufacturing hubs like Southeast Asia Industry 4.0And by extension, AI applications,” he added.

We will be left behind as the world’s talent provider unless we develop well-rounded professionals who can truly think about AI.

Jitendra Singh, TalentSprint

That said, India’s strong services sector has also been a cradle for AI deployment. “Since India has many back offices, the adoption of AI is dominant in automating internal processes and driving revenue growth,” said Mohapatra.

According to AI Game Changer Report 2022 By IndiaAI, a government-led industry group, AI is expected to boost India’s annual growth rate by 1.3% by 2035 – adding $957 billion or 15% of current GVA (Gross Value Added) to India’s economy.

India’s dream of becoming a trillion dollar digital economy may well be tied to the rate of AI adoption. A separate report by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) noted that four major sectors in India could contribute nearly 60% of the potential value addition of AI to India’s GDP by 2025 of around $500 billion.

In a sign of the growing momentum around AI in the subcontinent, 65% of AI prototype projects in India have reached production levels compared to 49% globally, according to a survey by Bain & Company, Microsoft and the Internet and Mobile Association of India.

Talent and scalability challenges

Indian organizations are hampered by legacy systems and siled data that stand in the way of adopting superior AI Other challenges include the low maturity level of the country’s AI ecosystem and the absence of advanced metrics Quantify returns from AI investments.

Jitendra Singh, chief technology officer at TalentSprint, points out that the advantage – and challenge – for India when it comes to AI is the country’s large population.

“Solutions that work easily in the Western world become very difficult to use in India because of our scale and complexity,” Singh said. “We produce the largest number of software and computer science engineers in the world, so we should be on the cutting edge of AI development.”

But while India has an abundance of tech talent, not all will fall short when it comes to AI. According to Singh, many people see AI as another technology like Android or Java.

“It’s a wrong approach,” he said. “AI is not a toolkit or a set of commands to learn. One of the key gaps in learning AI is mathematics, which is almost never required for a software engineer in a real sense. We will be left behind as the world’s talent provider unless we develop well-rounded professionals who can truly think about AI.”

What’s different about India, like Bart Labs’ Kochhar, is the ability to see AI as part of long-term vision, strategy and execution. That’s what sets India apart from countries like the US, Germany, France, Italy and China, which tend to deploy more AI in the industrial sector — albeit at a faster rate, he said.

Work has begun to address the talent gap. Several institutes such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) have started undergraduate and graduate degree programs in data science and AI, said Devang Raj Neog, assistant professor at IIT Guwahati. “The goal is to provide a workforce ready to use AI to understand and address the challenging and unique issues facing our nation of 1.3 billion people.”

Neeraj Kumar Sharma, another assistant professor at IIT Guwahati, said on the bright side, India can avoid pitfalls in early deployment of new technologies like AI and develop efficiently.

“Every now and then, India releases innovations that surprise the developed world. For example, putting 104 satellites into orbit in one launch, evacuating a million people at short notice before a storm hits the coast, operating ‘faceless, paperless and cashless’ services in banking and purchasing transactions and enabling cheap access to mobile internet. she said.

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