AI Development in India’s Ecosystem

A recent Intel India commissioned report, undertaken by the International Data Corporation (IDC) that surveyed 194 Indian organizations across sectors, unveiled an increasing appetite toward the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI)—which in turn, is expected to spike organization spends on such technology over the next 18 months.

The report shows that India is gearing up to be a part of the AI revolution. Nearly 75% of the firms surveyed anticipate benefits in business process efficiency and employee productivity with the use of AI, and 64% of the respondents believe that this technology can empower them in revenue augmentation through better targeting of offers and improved sales processes. While these present some great incentives for AI in India, there are still 76% of companies that believe that they will face a shortage of skilled personnel to harness the power of AI.

Indian enterprises have been quick to adopt AI in the recent past, with nearly 1 in 5 organizations (22.2%) across the four verticals surveyed implementing the technology in some way. This number is anticipated to soar considerably by mid-2019 with nearly 7 in 10 firms (68.6%) intending to deploy AI—which indicates that the technology will reach mainstream adoption. The report highlights the cross-industry functions that will benefit from AI over the next 18 months:

  • The most prominent function currently impacted by AI in organizations is information technology. As a part of the drive to boost efficiencies and reduce costs, half of the larger companies in India—particularly in Telecommunications, Media, & Technology (TMT), and Banking, Financial Services, & Insurance (BFSI)—have already implemented AI. Seventy-one percent of organizations are looking at increased process automation as a key benefit and almost equal number of firms (69%) are looking at increased employee productivity across several business functions.
  • Retail, and to some extent BFSI organizations, are leveraging AI to increase efficiency in their sales & marketing function, which has been discovered to be the second most popular use case. Businesses—particularly in retail (including e-commerce)—and telecommunications are exploring mechanisms to boost their revenue by using AI for better targeting of offers and improved sales processes. Transforming customer experience to improve customer loyalty ranks high on the list of benefits for retail and banking organizations; banks have led the innovation journey as far as the transformation of customer experience is concerned.
  • Manufacturing and retail organizations have also attempted to redraw and refine their supply chain networks using AI.
  • Financial services organizations are more focused on improving regulatory compliance and fraud reduction from AI implementation, whereas retail and automotive organizations are looking at improving consistency in the way decisions are made.

However, concerns about the adoption of AI continue with the high cost of solutions, acute shortage of skilled professionals, unclear return on investment, and cybersecurity emerging as the key hindrances. Regulatory compliance and lack of quality data are seen as other important challenges.

Intel has been strategically investing in the development of the ecosystem in India to propel ideation and innovative application of AI. The India AI & HPC Ecosystem Summit was one such effort where our SI partners like Wipro and TCS came together to encourage AI innovation. Not only did they showcase their cutting-edge work in AI, but also spoke about their efforts to build skilled expertise on AI. Over 50+ startups from communities like*, Niki.AI* and Health-Innovates* participated in the discussions and shared their experience of working on new and emerging AI use cases, spanning multiple industry verticals.

Intel has aligned its AI strategy for India with the government’s Digital India campaign and is invested in making AI accessible and relevant to all communities. To achieve this, Intel India has established deep industry collaborations on the lines of existing partnerships with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Wipro, Julia Computing, and Calligo Technologies, while also acquiring companies that can accelerate its AI solution development capabilities. In addition to this, to lower the entry barrier for developers and data scientists, the Intel® AI Academy is targeted at educating over 15,000 scientists, developers, analysts, and engineers in India on key AI technologies, including Deep Learning and Machine Learning.

As roadblocks in adoption and implementation of AI, and fears around AI subside, we can expect a new set of opportunities from which India can gain–ranging from higher business efficiency and revenue augmentation to improved data insights and better customer experiences. Put together, these developments have the potential to drive the evolution of the larger AI ecosystem and its applications in our lives.

Prakash Mallya explaining India’s presence in AI