India’s Tryst With Ai: Growth, Glitches And Beyond

AI Paving the Way For Growth

India is at a critical turning point, witnessing AI’s omnipresence in society, economy, and academia.

  • Indian AI Journal publications: 5.6% of total world publications, up from 1.3% in 2010.
  • India’s contribution to GitHub AI projects: 24.2% as of 2022.
  • Comparative AI skill penetration rates between 2015-2022: India (3.23), USA (2.23), Germany (1.72).

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The Surge of Investments in the AI Sector

The potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is captivating stakeholders across industries. It’s infiltrating everything, from supply chains to healthcare, education, finance, and marketing. In 2022, India secured the fifth spot globally for AI investments, surpassing formidable players like South Korea, Germany, Canada, and Australia. With $3.24 billion invested in AI startups that year, India demonstrated its commitment to AI-driven growth.

AI Race Checkpoint: Are We Trailing Behind?  

As the tech race accelerates, there are concerns that India is falling behind. Infrastructure challenges, governance limitations, skill gaps, and funding limitations pose hurdles.

During the pandemic, Indian firms aggressively hired to support the digital transformation efforts of their clients, resulting in inflated wage bills. As a consequence, the approach to AI appears defensiveprimarily aimed at reassuring investors thatAI does not pose a significant threat to their traditional labor-cost arbitrage model. This cautious stance reflects the need to balance embracing AI’s potential benefits and maintaining confidence in their established business practices.

The good news – over $8 billion in AI investments between 2013 and 2022. Compared to the US, where the total funding is $249+ billion between 2013-2022, we need to catch up, but there’s progress.

Generative AI Takes the Lead

Generative AI is a specific subset of AI that focuses on creating new data, such as images, music, or text, akin to human creativity. It employs deep learning models, like Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and Variational Autoencoders (VAEs), to generate original content by learning patterns from existing data.

Its profound impact on creative expression, problem-solving, and data synthesis has captured the world’s attention, making it a transformative force driving innovation and revolutionizing industries. India has made significant progress in embracing generative AI. 

Okay, let’s slow down, for it’s not all glitz and glamour.

Navigating the AI Terrain: Inherent Challenges 

In the ever-evolving world of technology, they say change is inevitable, but let’s face it, not all transformations come with a burst of rainbows and glitter.

AI’s impact on jobs has triggered much discussion and anxiety, especially in India’s services sector. Recently, an Indian CEO adopted an AI chatbot, leading to the dismissal of 90% of support staff, claiming improved results.4 The media industry isn’t spared either, with AI-powered news anchors like Lisa and Sana making headlines.

Global giant, IBM intends to employ AI to replace around 7,800 jobs. The company also anticipates pausing additional hiring, particularly for positions it believes AI may take over, and replacing about 30% of non-customer-facing roles with AI over five years.

As AI’s shadow looms over, nearly two-thirds of Indian workers fear for their jobs. Leaders admit new skills are necessary for AI’s growth, while 78% of Indian workers feel they lack the right abilities to tackle this tech tsunami.

What’s the solution? Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak, two prominent technologists, called for a temporary pause on developing AI tools until clear regulations are created. Here’s our opinion – a temporary halt in the development of AI tools isn’t going to solve the problem. Organizations must prioritize upskilling their workforce to effectively harness the potential of AI and should be vigilant in preventing the exploitation of AI tools and enforce regulations, especially considering how quickly they are developing.

While AI promises immense benefits, it also necessitates ethical considerations, regulatory frameworks, privacy regulations, and inclusive policies to ensure a future that benefits all sections of society. Striking this delicate balance will be pivotal in harnessing AI’s potential while mitigating potential risks.

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