Will Artificial Intelligence disrupt Indian Startup ecosystem

In a recent experiment conducted by Google’s Deep Mind Artificial Intelligence researchers, AI agents were made to compete against each other in 40 million rounds of a fruit-gathering computer game. The objective of the game was to collect as many fruits as possible or knock an opponent out of the game by using a laser beam. Google’s AI Network gradually got aggressive in competitive situations.  The researchers also established that the greater the “cognitive capacity’ of the AI agent, greater is the competitive streak. While this experiment may be an aberration, but the fact remains that Artificial Intelligence is undoubtedly the driver of technology of the future.
It is high time that AI really comes into the forefront as it has spent quite a lot of time on the fringes of being the definition of cutting-edge technology. The term was first coined way back in 1956 at the Dartmouth Conference and this was where AI was born. The event was the first and the biggest of its kind to study the exponential curve of electronic capacity and functionality, and initiated research on whether it would ever be able to replicate human intelligence.
Cut to today. According to a report submitted by research and consulting firm Zinnov, there are 2277 AI start-ups globally, with USA leading the charts with 1170 out of those, India comes third, with 169 start-ups based within its boundaries. But how and why does such a labour intensive economy such as India ever enter into the field of AI?
The answer is simple-unparalleled efficiency. With the combination of big data and deep machine learning capabilities that are able to process even non-linear data arrived at through various algorithms, AI has moved into the big league. The Indian start-up ecosystem cannot remain in either awe or ignorance of the future of science, but has to start understanding and creating it in order to be a step ahead of the curve.
One of the biggest reasons for AI to be a major disruptor in the Indian economic sphere is the fact that more than 200 million Indians will still be acquainting themselves with the internet for the first time 2020. Artificial intelligence such as Siri or Cortana can then act as a helpful guide to these people to navigate their way through the digital world. Furthermore, global opportunities such as that received by Pune based start-up Spherical Defence from British Intelligence Organization GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) are also motivating Indian start-ups to go the AI way.
Communications is another field where AI is promised to play a big role in the future. Combining the power of cloud communications and fast machine learning to read, analyze, interpret and formulate an action(s) is what powers Artificial Intelligence, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.  But the fact remains, most of the companies engaged in AI are, and will be developing technology for global clients rather than implementing them in their own business.
The basic advantage with AI is its extremely fast learning ability and cloud based interaction, which provides unparalleled flexibility of operations. These two features enable AI based start-ups and technology to dabble in numerous industries and segments, from diagnostics to logistics and education. With the amount of data being generated burgeoning at colossal speeds, only AI seems to have the ability to integrate multiple data points and provide a complete, customized picture to users who seek better, more vivid virtual experiences day-by-day.
There is, however, still some time before AI becomes a part and parcel of our everyday lives, although it is approaching fast.
[About the author: Ambarish Gupta is the founder & CEO of Knowlarity.]

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