By Srinath Srinivasan
It is an accepted truth that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technologies and, in unique, AI. According to IBM, cause behind this speedy adoption are the advancements in the technologies which made it accessible, business enterprise requires and the transform in business enterprise requires induced by the pandemic especially.
“We are seeing focus on AI in every conversation with our clients; be it in BFSI, telecom, retail, manufacturing, consumer goods, auto, etc. The pandemic has forced enterprises to innovate,” says Viswanath Ramaswamy, vice-president, Technology, IBM Technology Sales, India/South Asia. According to IBM’s Global AI adoption Index 2021, more than half (53%) of Indian IT specialists report their organizations have accelerated rollout of AI due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Around 43% Indian IT specialists are most probably to say that the pandemic has elevated their focus on safety and threats.
The larger image is a increasing marketplace for advancements such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), automation and trust and safety. “Most large enterprises are global and must operate in numerous languages. Language varies from country to country. As a result, enterprise NLP solutions must work in many languages and ideally without the need to undergo retraining for every language individually,” says Ramaswamy.
IBM Watson Discovery, which supports 10 languages which includes Hindi, can recognize the which means of Hindi text written in Devanagari script and extract beneficial info from it such as business enterprise, keyword phrases, named entities, relationships, execute sentiment evaluation. IBM Research India collaborated with IIT Bombay to lead this work.
Trust makes it possible for organisations to recognize and clarify suggestions and outcomes and handle AI-led choices in their business enterprise, which can be important for regulatory needs, though sustaining the complete ownership and protection of information and insights. Some of the tools from IBM can enable companies monitor and mitigate bias. “We are helping financial services organisations build a trusted architecture based on data and AI solutions as the foundation for both end-to-end digitisation of core operations and the deployment of new digital services,” says Ramaswamy.
When it comes to automation, AI is used to simplify IT operations management and accelerate and automate challenge resolution in complicated modern day IT environments. “Bharti Airtel has been working with us to integrate end-to-end advanced automation and plans to embed AI capabilities in the future as a core part of its network transformation. In this first phase, IBM and Airtel have co-developed a ‘single-click’ automated hybrid cloud design and deployment capability and ‘light touch’ operations,” says Ramaswamy. This enables Airtel to swiftly increase network connectivity and accelerate its continued core network transformation. As a outcome, Airtel will be capable to scale to meet elevated client demand, onboard new partners more rapidly, and speed the launch of revolutionary cloud-based services.
While AI has grow to be more accessible than ever, the Global AI Adoption Index 2021 also located that lack of AI expertise and growing information complexity are cited as prime challenges to adoption. It is a challenge to unify complicated, siloed information across decentralised IT infrastructures, making sure safety and compliance of the information and technologies, to develop trust in AI systems and outcomes, and to create a clear approach with the suitable expertise and cross-functional teams to scale and assistance AI to meet business enterprise requires. “Let me provide some perspective here, AI requires machine learning; machine learning requires analytics; analytics requires the right data and information architecture (IA). In other words, there is no AI without IA . These capabilities form the solid rungs of what we call the AI Ladder – the increasing levels of analytic sophistication that lead to and buttress a thriving AI environment,” he explains.
Hence, it becomes a necessity to have the appropriate architecture, capabilities and method for companies to overcome information complexity challenges. To tackle skilling challenges, with respect to India, IBM has collaborated with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to create a curriculum on Artificial Intelligence, to be introduced as an elective topic for classes IX to XII. The pilot project was launched as element of the CBSE SEWA programme last year with the aim of reaching 200 schools across 13 states in India.
“We have covered 160 schools and over 12,000 students have benefitted from the programme,” says Ramaswamy. IBM has also collaborated with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to present ‘Open P-TECH’, a totally free digital education platform to customers by way of NSDC’s eSkill India portal. “There has been over 2700 course completions and 400 hours of learning registered on the platform. Blockchain, Cybersecurity and AI are the most popular courses among learners—in sync with the demand for new collar job roles,” informs Ramaswamy.