India is on a journey to become a leader in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The country has a large number of skilled engineers and a startup ecosystem that is growing quickly. This makes it a great place to build and use AI technologies. The government has also made significant investments in AI research and development, with the goal of becoming a global leader in the field. AI has the potential to add USD 1 trillion to the Indian economy by 2035, according to a 2018 discussion paper by NITI Aayog. Because of this, there are now a lot of AI-based solutions in fields like education, finance, manufacturing, healthcare, and agriculture.
In this blog, we will take a closer look at India’s tryst with AI, exploring the opportunities and challenges that come with the implementation of this technology. We will also take a look at some of the most promising AI applications in India and the impact they are having on the country’s economy and society.
We will cover
- Artificial intelligence-based services in India
- Government initiatives and Regulations
Artificial intelligence based services in India
Let’s look at some of the most important areas in India where AI is being studied right now. Each of these areas is vast in itself, but I will give a general overview so you can understand the progress.
1. Manufacturing Sector
Manufacturing industries in India are one of the pioneers in adopting AI-based solutions to improve their overall product quality and design, save labor costs, shorten manufacturing cycles, and track equipment health in real-time. Many manufacturing companies now use artificial intelligence (AI) for factory automation, quality monitoring, predicting equipment failure, order management, delivery management, and demand forecasting. Companies in India like Blue Star Ltd., TVS Motor Company Ltd., JK Tyre & Industries Ltd., and Asian Paints Ltd. have all used AI in their production plants.
The impact of COVID-19 has changed the business landscape of the manufacturing sector with significant labor and material shortages. As a result, manufacturing units moved a lot of their labor-intensive tasks to AI to become more resilient.
The manufacturing industry is going to see a boom in AI adoption. Already, the contribution of AI to the Indian GVA was valued at INR 12,272.38 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach INR 40,703.34 Bn by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 4.83% during the forecast period (2021–2026). Gross value added (GVA) is an economic productivity metric that measures how much a corporate subsidiary, company, or municipality adds to an economy, producer, sector, or region.
Key driving factors
- Indian government initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat and the Production Linked Incentive Scheme for White Goods (PLIWG)
- Global players are aiming to divest in China and are considering India as the preferred destination to shift their manufacturing bases
- For faster and more economical production of goods while reducing over-dependence on human labor
- High implementation and maintenance costs
- Lack of skillful experts who can implement the customized system as the industry is still in the developing stages. Also, due to demand cost of hiring is high
- Cyberattacks on systems
2. Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI)
The financial services sector is the market leader in India in adopting artificial intelligence. AI-powered solutions in five major services that include chat automation, fraud detection, an AI virtual assistant, customer profiling, and customer journey personalization. A survey by PWC found that 83% of the financial companies in India think that AI helps improve their customers’ experiences. The survey also finds that 55% of financial organizations strongly agree that AI will give them a competitive edge over their peers.
Institutions like HDFC Life have already built various AI divisions for their chatbots (WhatsApp bot “Etty,” customer avatar ‘Zoey’), vision bots (“FaceSense,” “Bodmeter,” “Age Tymer’”), voice AI: “Ezra” (Google Assistant) and “Elsa” (Alexa), machine learning: propensity, risk, and customer retention models, and cognitive bots: 250 bots live across the organization to enhance the customer experience. Similarly, HDFC Bank has a chatbot named Eva, which now not only handles chat but also bill payments, ticket booking, etc. According to HDFC, back in 2019, Eva had already answered more than 5 million queries with more than 85% accuracy. The chatbot holds more than 20,000 conversations a day with customers from all over the world. Others, like ICICI Bank, use AI-powered solutions to figure out if a customer is creditworthy by looking at their digital footprint.
Key driving factors
- Enhancing customer experience by providing fast customer-centric solutions
- Improve productivity of teams
- Increase revenue and reduce costs across departments
- Ensure regulatory compliance
- For developing new products
- Privacy and data protection of customers
- Approval for use of AI engines on financial details
- Accountability of AI in making financial decisions.
- Data location of customers and sharing with AI-based organizations.
3. Education and Teaching
Edtech startups are driving growth in the sector by using mobile and web platforms to help people learn with technology. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the true potential of the sector was realized. However, there are many areas where large corporations are investing in AI, such as the healthcare research sector. The Indian and state governments are looking into many possible ways to spread good education. Even though remote learning has become less important in schools, online tutoring, personalized courses, and AI-based assessment tools have become much more important.
Government platforms like YUVAi are mentoring students from classes 8th to 12th to understand AI-based opportunities and also encouraging them to innovate solutions across various domains. K8 school is India’s first and only Cognia-credited 100% online school for students from classes nursery to 8th standards. They will release a new learning management system (LMS) that is powered by AI and will give each student a customized learning experience based on how smart they are. Similarly, platforms like Mindspark help students learn math and languages at their own pace and style, rather than using any predefined technique.
It’s a new area where AI is being looked into to improve India’s current education system. But Business Today says that by 2024, AI will be built into 47% of learning management tools. Also, AI in education is expected to reach a CAGR of 40.3% between 2019-25.
Key driving factors
- Upskilling the next generation. Also, learning to differentiate between good and bad AI
- Market dominance in the segment
- Personalized learning and assessment
- Lack of proper infrastructure for learning
- Lack of reliable data that exists between the actual data and what’s collected by information systems
- Lack of regional data
Healthcare is a trillion-dollar opportunity for India. The key areas where artificial intelligence is being applied are early disease diagnosis, the drug design process, drug trials, diabetic retinopathy, cancer treatments, cardiovascular disease, and eye care. In 2018, India spent more than 109% more on AI, making it a $665 million business. By 2025, it is expected to reach $11.78 billion, adding $1 trillion to India’s economy by 2035.
NITI Aayog has been testing an AI-based application in primary care for the early detection of diabetes complications and is currently validating the use of AI as a screening tool in eye care, by comparing its diagnostic accuracy with that of retina specialists. Microsoft’s AI Network for Healthcare and Apollo Hospitals are developing a machine learning model to better predict heart attack risk. Using clinical and lab data from more than 400,000 patients, the AI solution can find new risk factors and give patients a heart risk score without a full health checkup. This makes it possible to find diseases early and treat them more effectively.
A lot of other Indian startups are also making big headway in this sector with their artificial intelligence-based solutions. Pharmeasy offers an application that connects users with pharmacies and provides services such as teleconsultation and diagnostic test sample collection. QureAI is enhancing imaging accuracy and improving healthcare outcomes with the assistance of machine learning-supported tools. SigTuple has been providing AI-based healthcare diagnostic solutions since 2015.
Key driving factors
- Early diagnosis of diseases
- Robotic automation to ease the load on healthcare establishments
- Cost savings on treatment and alternative treatments
- Insufficient access to data poses a significant impediment to building indigenous AI interventions in India. Datasets for healthcare in India are fragmented, dispersed, and incomplete
- Blindspots in data collection as the solutions have to rely upon top hospitals only.
- Infrastructure and costs to run AI-based solutions are pretty high.
- Approval of AI in making life-saving decisions
- Data privacy of individuals
India is mostly an agricultural society, with about 54% of its people directly depending on farming. The Indian Agri-Tech industry is presently valued at USD 204 million and is expected to undergo an exponential transformation owing to the adoption of technologies like artificial intelligence and supportive government policies. Agriculture in India is at a transitory juncture, with a focus on the integration of technologies for better operations.
India primarily uses Artificial intelligence for
- AI-enabled system to detect pests and weeds
- Agricultural Robotics
- Predictive Analytics and Precision Farming
- Analyzing the health of crops by drones
- Crop and Soil health monitoring system
- Use in weather forecasting to detect unpredictable weather conditions
Microsoft in collaboration with ICRISAT, developed an AI Sowing-App powered by Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite. The app sends sowing advisory messages to participating farmers on the optimal date to sow on their phones.
There are other prominent Indian Agri-tech startups with artificial intelligence-enabled solutions. Absolute provides IoT and AI-enabled hardware and software solutions for farmers. They offer IoT devices that send data to their machine-learning algorithm to provide real-time crop insights. TartanSense develops a camera-based robot with AI to detect weeds and remove weeds. You can read about the other startups in this list here.
Key driving factors
- Boost productivity to feed large populations with the ever-increasing threat of climate change, availability of natural resources, and shrinking farming land
- Subsidies from the Government on AI-based hardware solutions
- Better decision-making and cost-saving in the long run
- Market demand analysis and predictions
- The ability of individual farmers to invest in technologies and their education
- The lengthy adoption process in implementing AI solutions as they need a lot of data to make decisions
- Threat to livelihoods with bad AI-based decisions
As the market expands, new opportunities for both new and experienced professionals emerge. According to Simplilearn, the average salary in India for an entry-level artificial intelligence engineer is Rs. 8 lakh. This is way higher than any entry-level engineering graduate. An AI engineer’s salary can reach Rs 50 lakhs at higher levels of experience. Of course, these salaries depend on factors like the type of AI engineering (viz., ML, data science, etc.), experience, skills, and qualifications, and the preferred location.
Top Aritifical Intelligence jobs in India
1. Machine Learning Engineer
As a machine learning engineer, you will be responsible for developing and implementing algorithms that enable computers to learn from data. This includes working with large data sets, designing and testing machine learning models, and tuning algorithms for efficient execution.
2. Data Scientist
Data scientists use their expertise in statistics, mathematics, and computer science to analyze complex data sets. They work with organizations to gain insights that can be used to improve decision-making.
3. Artificial Intelligence Researcher
As an AI researcher, you will be responsible for investigating and developing new artificial intelligence algorithms and applications. This includes conducting research, writing papers, and presenting your findings at conferences.
4. Software Engineer
Software engineers develop software that enables computers to function. This includes creating algorithms, testing code, and debugging programs. Preferred programming languages include Python and C++.
Top Artificial Intelligence based recruiting companies in India
- Tata Consultancy Services Limited
- Intel Corporation
- Fractal Analytics
Entry-level roles in the field of artificial intelligence are generally held by graduates with degrees in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or information technology.
For senior-level managerial and research and development positions, you must have a master’s degree or Ph.D. in one of these fields or an equivalent, related field.
An artificial intelligence engineer’s salary depends on a strong process-oriented approach to solving problems related to different domains, such as :
- Cognitive science theory
- Coding in different languages
- Algebra, probability and statistics
NASSCOM says that investments in India’s artificial intelligence are growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.8% and are expected to reach $881 million by 2023. AI will aggregate a value-add worth $450–500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025.
VCs are also investing a lot in Indian AI-based startups. According to shizune.co, already 350+ investments have been made in artificial intelligence-based startups in India, led by Inflection Point Ventures (18) and followed by Kalaari Capital, 3one4 Capital, and Stellaris Venture Partners with 14 investments each.
Government initiatives and regulations
The government of India recognizes artificial intelligence as a very hot emerging technology. Hence, many initiatives are already underway or already in place
Top Indian govt. initiatives focussed on artificial intelligence
- Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has initiated a program titled FutureSkills PRIME (www.futureskillsprime.in) in collaboration with NASSCOM, a B2C framework for re-skilling/ up-skilling of IT professionals in 10 Emerging are including Artificial Intelligence. So far, 7 Lakh candidates have signed up on the FutureSkills PRIME Portal, of which, 1.2 lakh candidates have completed their courses.
- Government has launched “National AI Portal” (https://indiaai.gov.in/) which is a repository of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based initiatives in the country at a single place.
- National Programme on Responsible Use of AI for Youth: With the objective to empower the youth to become AI ready and help reduce the skill gap, government along with Industry partner has started this initiative to promote AI awareness among Government school going children.
- To foster innovation through research, government has created several ‘Centres of Excellence’ on various Emerging Technologies including Artificial Intelligence. These centres connect various entities such as startups, enterprises, venture capitalists, government and academia to look into problem statements and develop innovative solutions.
- Government of India has also joined the league of leading economies including USA, UK, EU, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore as a founding member of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), which is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth.
- The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has set up this Task force on Artificial Intelligence to kick-start the use of AI for India’s economic transformation. Artificial Intelligence Task Force (aitf.org.in)
As of writing this blog, there are no specific laws in India with regard to regulating AI, ML and big data. A few minimal obligations are mentioned in the IT Act-2000 and the rules thereunder. MEITY, the executive agency for AI-related strategies, recently constituted four committees to bring in a policy framework for AI.
I have covered all the important aspects of India’s artificial intelligence journey here. If you would like to discuss this, please post a comment below. Also, I cover many varied articles on AI. If you want to read them, please visit https://techpro.ninja/blogs for more.