The Indian government in a joint initiative with industry has established 4 centers to promote the fourth industrial revolution across the nation. The department of heavy industries with EEPC (Engineering Export Promotion Council) has built fur demonstration centers – Centre for Industry 4.0 (C4i4) Lab in Pune; IITD-AIA Foundation for Smart Manufacturing; I4.0 India at IISc Factory R&D Platform; and Smart Manufacturing Demo & Development Cell at CMTI. These will escalate manufacturing to a smart and intelligent hub and their task is to accelerate competitiveness in every industry cluster across the country.
Several experts feel that in manufacturing, the process industries have done a lot of automation already and are among the first adopters of AI, such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and the automobile industry. Some of them think since digitization is happening at a fast pace, the vexing question is how to unlock the data present in their systems so they can access the intelligence. Well, all we know is we have to stop toying with the concept of data analysis and make it yield results. Only then we can reach the stage of automation, and finally, on to AI in its complete sense. At present, automation with some amount of technology is being passed off as AI, say the members.
India’s Potential In AI
The country is just starting on its AI journey, yet it has always known that AI has great potential in the country. Because of illiteracy and not so tech-savvy population, India lack behind in AI adoption. Also, there are still certain companies in the industry which are not net-enabled. Therefore, the country cannot get everyone to use AI applications simultaneously. It has amassed humongous amounts of data, which the country can use to resolve issues in the social and other sectors including healthcare, education, banking, and agriculture. The data can be further mined for data analysis. In areas where we have AI, it is invisible, for example, the chatbots in bank and e-commerce websites that communicate with us for ease of use of the websites. Healthcare, agriculture, banks, and transportation sectors are using AI-powered chatbots but it also invisible.
A Need for Central Data Repository
Banking, insurance, healthcare, and logistics are leading the way in digitization, while some others are playing catch up but it is still just a guessing game to predict when all the sectors would complete their respective digitization process. The Indian government and government think-tank NITI Aayog have roadmaps and vision to adopt AI technology in social and public sector projects and also in their departments. The only problem here is the timeline to digitize the departments is not precise. The quick expansion of this to large parts of the country will be the highlight to what difference AI will make.
The government is working on a central data repository which will connect all elements in India’s fiduciary structure – the Centre and the states; and the cities and different ministries of both the Centre and the states. This planned network will benefit more data to be available for AI to be applied for urban planning. It will also help to realize India’s vision of truly ‘smarter’ cities. As it stands now, the healthcare and education sectors have plans to do this whereas logistics and transportation, are leading the way.
Delayed Implementation of AI
As a drawback, India is still into its traditional ways which would delay the AI adoption in the long run. Several organizations are not implementing technology platforms as it will create unrest and unemployment.
Well, a new set of jobs will be created but that would require a new skill set and upskill for new job roles and responsibilities.
AI Is Not the Principle of Start-Ups
The country is witnessing a wave of technology startups blossoming across the industry which are made in India and provide core technology products. However, most of the companies are zooming into digitization and data analytics while AI is just deep algorithm.
The industry in India is sure about the disruption caused by technology is imminent and it will have to adopt it. With the assistance of such technologies, companies can leverage themselves to drive business value.
It is high time the nation highlights the innovations of startups which would bring their products mainstream, and generate peer pressure forcing others to better themselves. It is believed that adopting AI and getting smart, is about fostering competitiveness and peer pressure.