IoT market in India is currently growing and is expected to reach USD 15 billion by the year 2020 and to USD 75 billion by the year 2025. IoT growth is currently driven by industrial automation, primarily in sectors like telecom, healthcare, housing, agriculture, and engineering. However, the consumer IoT market is gradually evolving with increasing awareness among people.
Artificial intelligence (AI) on the other hand holds a potential to add USD 957 billion to the Indian economy by changing the nature of work to create better outcomes for business and society. Thereby increasing its yearly growth rate of Gross Value Add (GVA) by 1.3 percentage points and also boosting the nation’s income by 15 percent by 2035.
The first edition of the international conference on AI and IoT India 2018 was organized by Bharat Exhibitions. The theme of the first edition of this conference was AI and IoT are at the core of India’s Digital Transformation.
TV Ramachandran, president, Broadband India Forum and chairman, AI and IoT India Conference Committee set the ball rolling for this conference by mentioning that for India AI and IoT is an area of tremendous opportunity. “We are very proud of our achievements. The world is amazed at what we have done in mobile telecom space. Knowing the strength that India has, there are humongous opportunity for us in the AI space”.
Yaduvendra Mathur, IAS, additional secretary, knowledge innovation hub, NITI Aayog added that at NITI Aayog they have been working on preparing this discussion strategy for AI which they refer as ‘AI for all’ and also mentioned that priority should be to use AI for agriculture and healthcare because that is where the impact will come very quickly. He queried, how can AI make the transformation in the lives of common people? What happens when that inflection point comes when software starts writing software? In such a scenario, who will own the copyright or the patents? Can the patents be held by machines?”
Sharing insights regarding artificial intelligence, Anil Valluri, president – India and SAARC, NetApp said, “AI has always been there. What has changed with AI in the last two or three years and why is there so much focus on AI? It is because there is so much more data that we are generating and that data is now accessible to all of us. Also, we are now able to handle large scale data and drive meaningful outcomes out of it. It is expected that 50 percent of top 200 companies globally will depend majorly on the transformation that will create new products, new technologies and new services using digital as the means. The business volume that will be created out of this digital transformation will be over 1.7 trillion. It is not just large business opportunity but even big from the perspective of the society”.
While there are many opportunities that lie in the field of AI and IoT, there are also many open challenges. Commenting on the opportunities and challenges, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, IAS, secretary, Ministry of Electronics & IT, Government of India said, “As data is primary resource. How to leverage this data is one of the pressing questions in front of us. How do we organize the data, clean up the data and how to prepare the data for use in the context of AI? How do we liberate the data from the silos that it resides today?” Giving an example of this, he mentioned that in the sphere of agriculture alone there are many projects that are implemented which have services being delivered to the farmers.
The other panelist that were present for the event were Sashi Dharan, MD, Bharat Exhibitions; Sunil Joshi, president – business operations, Gift City; Aurindam Bhattacharya, group leader, C-DoT; Rajan S. Mathews, director general, COAI; Ramanujam Komandhuri, regional director – enterprise and government business, India and SAARC Operations, NetApp; and Sucheta Mahapatra, vice president and head IoT, Bharti Airtel.
“India is expected to soon have data protection legislation and framework in place. According to him, data is a primary resource for anything to do with analytics, with machine learning and with artificial intelligence”.
Ajay Prakash Sawhney
Ministry of Electronics & IT, Government of India