Bengaluru: India has the potential to become a global powerhouse in data and artificial intelligence (AI), top executives from Infosys Ltd and Wipro said at a panel discussion organised by Nasscom on Tuesday.
According to Nasscom, driving utilization of data and AI could play a crucial role in realizing India’s 2025 vision of inclusive development and deliver over $500 billion in value for the economy. This would be even more impactful as India’s economy restarts after the covid-19 lockdown.
“We have to identify a comprehensive plan for India’s data and AI action story…and identify data sets of national importance based on selected initiatives and prioritize datasets that require government attention,” said Wipro chairman Rishad Premji.
India has the right ecosystem of talent, academia, and startups to drive the AI revolution but we must also focus on “moving beyond pilots to scalability”, Premji said.
Investing in data and AI can create millions of jobs in India, said UB Pravin Rao, Nasscom chairman and chief operating officer, Infosys. “We need to build the capabilities in this space,” he said.
The job creation is in the context that out of the 4.3 million IT workforce in the country, already about half a million people are working in areas of data analytics and AI. “This number can further go up,” Rao said.
Many leading global organizations have already established AI centres of excellence (CoEs) in India to access talent and its 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 into account issues like ethics, and zero bias, Rao said.
This comes in the backdrop of a draft document on “Responsible AI for All” released by government policy think tank NITI Aayog for stakeholder discussion in July. The draft proposes setting up multi-disciplinary ethical committees for enforcement of principles of responsible AI across multiple sectors working with AI.
Data and AI can play a pivotal role in addressing the country’s digital divide. “Building access, inclusion, and skill will be the key enablers,” said Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India.