India has the right ecosystem and an efficient talent pool to create millions of new-age jobs and drive a data and artificial intelligence (AI) revolution to become a global powerhouse, said top executives of Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd at a panel discussion organized by IT industry body Nasscom on Tuesday.
As per Nasscom, data and AI could play a crucial role in realizing India’s 2025 vision of inclusive development and add at least $500 billion to its gross domestic product, besides helping the economy emerge stronger from the crisis.
“We have to identify a comprehensive plan for India’s data and AI action story…and identify data of national importance based on selected initiatives and prioritize data sets that require government attention,” said Wipro chairman Rishad Premji, adding that the country has the ecosystem to draw talent, academia and startups to drive revolution, but it must focus on “moving beyond pilots to scalability”.
Investing in data and AI can create millions of jobs in India, said U.B. Pravin Rao, Nasscom chairman and chief operating officer, Infosys. “We need to build the capabilities in this space.” Rao said around half a million of India’s 4.3 million IT workforce are working in data analytics and AI, and “this number can go up further”.
Many leading global organizations have already established AI centres of excellence in India to access its talent pool and leverage the startup ecosystem. As India scales up on its data and AI journey, it will have to focus on “responsible AI” and create a self-governing process that takes ethics and zero bias into account.
The observations by industry captains comes a month after government policy think tank NITI Aayog released a draft document on “Responsible AI for All” for stakeholder discussion.
“Building access, inclusion and skill will be the key enablers,” said Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India.