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Is India Ready for Artificial Intelligence?

December 21, 2016

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These days in India, and around the world, people are using artificial intelligence (AI) in order to look through numbers and data and then understand and group them together into a more coherent whole so that they may be utilized better. In fact, it is being said that the technology is heading towards all-pervasive usage at a rate of knots. The term AI itself can be defined as an effort to get computers to think and act as human beings do with the aim of getting a solution to problems.

What do people in India think of AI?

Whenever we in India hear the word AI the first image that comes to our minds is that of a robot. Most of us relate it with the science fiction that we read and watch on telly or theatre screens so often. Well, you would be surprised to know that AI is used in our daily lives as well.

Applications

With products such as Phrazor entrepreneurs and innovators are aiming to change the very way data is understood and used. Even though Phrazor was created primarily for the digital marketing world, its creator Neerav Parekh – who also runs a digital marketing enterprise – feels that this can be applied to any and every sphere where data is used. With Phrazor, Parekh is now assisting companies in communicating the insights hidden in their data to people working for and with them at an easier scale. In what could be regarded as an example of growth that can be achieved with AI, VPhrase – the 14 month old company of Parekh – is now looking to serve companies in India as well as in the US. In the next three years it is also expected to target companies in Asia as well as Europe.

What is Mark Zuckerberg thinking?

The founder of Facebook is attempting to put his own spin on things as far as AI is concerned. All across 2016 he has been working at home on an AI project, whereby he is aiming to create a virtual assistant that will help him and his family on various domestic issues. As part of his distinctive thoughts he has been attempting to come up with a remote control to operate a T-shirt cannon that will be able to fire gray shirts as and when it is ordered to.

Zuckerberg is known to wear the same gray tee and hoodie each and every day. Therefore, one feels that the AI he designs to operate his T-shirt gun would not have much problems anyway. Zuckerberg personally feels – as he has stated on Facebook – that it would be the best home appliance ever created. He is also expected to come out with videos of the same soon enough. If by this you think that Zuckerberg is trying to create his own Jarvis – the AI of Iron Man Tony Stark who becomes Vision – then you are right because Zuckerberg has admitted as much on FB as well.

AI for comparing prices

Companies such as GrabShack.com, whose head offices are in Mumbai, are presently offering AI-based search engines that you will be able to use to compare the best prices of products and this can be done over more than 100 e-commerce websites. It uses the AI engine in order to interpret the results and then understand them. This is done by using at least 500 relevant points, which are normally taken from users and trends on social media sites such as FB and Twitter. The end result of this exercise is that you get the cheapest prices for a product. All this attests to the way AI is being increasingly used in India.

What is Microsoft doing with AI in India?

A lot of experts don’t think that AI and robots will substitute doctors in the immediate future. However, AI has already started making some sterling progress in the regard. Microsoft is playing a major role in this regard in India by employing AI and machine learning in order to assist doctors in detecting and treating eye diseases. Earlier in 2016 the global tech giant started working with LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a non-profit-making entity. As part of their association, Microsoft is providing Power BI – AI services – and Azure – machine learning systems – in order to analyse patterns in various cases and then predict the possible results of optical surgery with respect to those.

It is also partnering with Liebherr, an organization that is known to be a major player in the upscale home appliance market. Microsoft is expected to assist the lifestyle brand in using AI to a greater extent in its appliances. Together they are aiming to come up with a new generation of smart refrigerators that are expected to have some unique features. They are supposed to be interactive and you should be able to operate them with apps as well. As of now, the plan is just being conceived and may take till 2018 to materialize. The organization itself feels that even though AI is at an initial phase in India it is expected to be the future with more people working on getting it to that level.

 

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I am from Kolkata. Like any other Bengali I love my fish, eggs and bhaat and sweets but I also feel proud to be a part of the biggest melting pot of the world - India. It is true that I need to go a long way before I finally call it a day but I have come some way and am sure will travel further. Cheers :)

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