Why Are Indian Enterprises So Wary Of AI?


Artificial intelligence is being counted among the most happening technologies in India of late, but the highly specialized segment is yet to receive the attention it should from the business segment. One wonders, “Why?” There are several roadblocks such as cost, complexities, talent shortage and low level of awareness in general that dissuade enterprises from exploring this fascinating concept of AI that can change the world and the way we work and live.

Not long ago, IBM unveiled the supercomputer Watson which can process data at the rate of 67 million pages per second; all the time producing actionable insights and deciphering patterns. The supercomputer would analyze unimaginable quantities of data. Why did IBM develop this device? The simple answer is that the world today faces a data tsunami. As technology continues to record and store extremely high amounts of information, the data flood is only going to increase. IBM did a timely thing by developing the device.

The data tsunami also stems from the millions of interconnected devices and appliances that are going to form an integral part of smart living and smart city. No wonder, globally, there is rapid expansion of AI tools. Research Company Markets and Markets (M&M) predicts that the AI market will cross US$16.06 billion by 2022, with the technology growing at a more-than-healthy CAGR of 62.9% during the period 2016–2022. The findings were reported in the study: “Artificial Intelligence Market by Technology.”

A scientist with Google Research, Chris Olah, who is also the author of an AI research paper called “Concrete Problems in AI Safety,” says, “The authors believe AI technologies are likely to be overwhelmingly beneficial for humanity but we also believe it is worth giving serious thought to potential challenges and risks,” adding: ‘We strongly support work on privacy, security, fairness, economics and policy.”

AI tools face roadblock

First of all, the general rate of technology adoption by Indian enterprises is low. For an upcoming field like Artificial Intelligence, it’s even lesser. However, there are reports and studies on how such state-of-the-art technology could make businesses simpler and user-friendly. Operational efficiency could increase along with a streamlining of business processes. Generally, Artificial Intelligence tools are optimizing system-operating models and transforming processes for enterprises, globally.

However, in India, AI tools face quite a few roadblocks. One of them is the complexity of AI solutions. These tools generally take a number of factors into account such as production specifics including capacity planning, infrastructure and material requirements and costs, and product design. Moreover, the solutions were often beyond the reach of small and medium enterprises.

However, the affordability factor has reduced substantially over the past few years. “Earlier, AI software and tools were expensive and exclusive. Implementation of the algorithms as well as the models needed a skilled workforce, which was not available with small and medium-sized companies. Additionally, CPU-intensive computing and huge data storage were needed for pattern recognition to operationalize complex algorithms used in Artificial Intelligence,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global cloud technology provider, which is developing an Artificial Intelligence tool of its own.

A creative and innovative approach to AI

Companies are also unable to utilize and implement AI software and tools in business operations because Artificial Intelligence technology requires research, innovation, as well as creative and critical thinking. Also, the new-age tools need substantial upfront investments before the products can be deemed commercially viable.

Although a few Indian tech startups and majors have begun providing AI tools, the quality is not world class. Yet, they are baby steps in the right direction. Investors too need to be applauded for showing perseverance and backing such enterprises. With the international technology scene galloping ahead, India and other emerging countries’ businesses cannot risk getting left behind. Governments too need to come forward and support such tech initiatives. There is major benefit to be reaped from the application of AI to power business processes and operations.

 [Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Trivone Media Network's or that of CXOToday's.]