Indian industries optimistic and bullish about AI: Report


(IANS) Industry leaders in India are optimistic about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential to transform organisations and industries and drive economic growth in the country, according to a report on Thursday.

The State of AI in India report by Deloitte India is based on a survey of 300 senior executives where they explained their organisations’ plans and approaches for adopting AI technologies.

In the past few years, both Indian private and public sector companies and the central and state governments have invested in multiple AI use cases across diverse application areas. According to a NASSCOM 2020 report, data and AI could add $450-500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, representing approximately 10 per cent of India’s $5 trillion economy aspiration.

About 86 per cent of survey respondents said they plan to increase their AI spend in the next fiscal year encouraged by the returns they see from existing AI investments.

“We were particularly keen to understand what it will take for organisations to succeed in the age of AI. To this end, the study lends additional focus on what AI leaders and Global Capability Centres (GCCs) or captive firms are doing to successfully embrace AI for their business growth,” the report said.

The report also “underlines the impact of AI on the people and processes at these organisations, their preparedness for various associated risks, and the benefits they expect or have achieved from AI”.

The survey showed that Indian start-ups have reached a position where they can use AI for high-impact areas, such as building customer relationships, creating new products and services, and enabling new business models right from the inception.

A smaller size, flexible operations, and innovation friendly learning culture enables a majority of the start-ups to achieve payback on AI investments within a two-year time horizon.

Further, GCCs, who started their AI journey early, have moved past the initial stage of using AI for efficiencies and now their focus is on more strategic and value generating outcomes.

The report suggested that a well-defined AI strategy is essential for success, including the choice of operating model, execution approach, and enabling commercial models and technologies.

However, the survey found that most organisations find themselves ill-prepared to address AI-related risks despite being aware of them, exposing themselves to significant operational, reputational, and strategic threats.

Organisations should begin with fundamental governance practices, and testing of AI systems. More AI-mature organisations should invest in establishing a robust AI risk management framework.

Moreover, most surveyed organisations revealed that they are facing an AI skill gap, with some facing an extreme shortage of niche AI skill sets, such as data scientists. Acquisition of AI talent through hiring or outsourcing can address the short-term skill deficit, the report noted.

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