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‘Artificial Intelligence yet to make its mark in India’

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By Nishant Arora

From taking care of businesses to fulfilling personal needs, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is very much a part of the daily lives of people across the globe with global technological giants judiciously utilizing its benefits. However, it has yet to make a mark in India.

When Amit Singhal, an India-born techie who joined Google nearly 15 years ago practically reigning at Google Search since then, decided to quit this month and hand the baton over to the head of the technology giant’s artificial intelligence (AI) chief, the message was clear: AI was the future that had arrived.

Amid all the brouhaha over machines acquiring near-human intelligence, is India ready to embrace the change?

“For the Indian market, we might see some serious AI in action around 2020, and by 2025, there should be considerable advancements,” Faisal Kawoosa, lead analyst, Telecoms Practice, at market research and consulting firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), told reporters.

According to Thomas George, SBU Head of CMR, there were several studies projecting AI becoming mainstream within five years. “However, this appears possible only in the high-end segments in the advanced and developed markets and not in India,” he added.

According to a latest forecast by the research firm MarketsandMarkets, the AI market is estimated to reach $5 billion by 2020 globally. “The increasing use of machine learning technology in the advertising and media and finance sectors, and the growing demand for AI across diversified application areas are driving the growth of the AI market,” the findings showed.

In India, the top-notch technology companies are yet to make a substantial progress in the business of AI.

While Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has Ignio — a neural science-based automation platform that optimises IT operations, Infosys has recently launched AiKiDo project that will focus on AI, knowledge-based IT and design thinking to help enterprise clients.

Wipro, on the other hand, has an AI platform “Holmes”- a rich set of cognitive computing services for the development of digital virtual agents, cognitive process automation, visual computing applications, robotics and drones. To fulfill its AI dreams, Wipro recently acquired a strategic stake in Vicarious, an AI company based in San Francisco, California.

But this does not seem enough when it comes to the practical application of AI in the country on a large scale. “Although industry circles have been talking about AI for more than a decade, it is yet to make its mark in India,” George said.

Globally, Microsoft, Google and Facebook are leading the way when it comes to incorporating AI into the workplace — transforming the experience of “machine learning” via “deep neural networks” of hardware and software that nearly approximate neurons in the human brain.

“Machine intelligence is crucial to our search vision of building a truly intelligent assistant that connects our users to information and actions in the real world,” Google said in a statement recently.

John Giannandrea, who led Google’s machine learning efforts and is going to replace Singhal, is applying the technology to products such as image recognition for Google Photos search and the smart reply for Google Inbox.

In a cheer for the AI community, Google’s AlphaGo, a program of its artificial intelligence arm DeepMind, recently defeated the reigning human champion of Go – a complex Chinese board game that is considered the “quintessential unsolved problem” for machine intelligence.

At Facebook, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to focus on AI and is even thinking of a simple AI to run his home and workplace like the famous Jarvis character in the Hollywood movie “Iron Man”.

According to Chris Bishop, managing director at Microsoft Research, 2016 will be the year of AI. “During 2016, we will see the emergence of new silicon architectures that are tuned to the intensive workloads of machine learning, offering a major performance boost over GPUs (Graphics Processing Units),” he posted.

In his first “Ask Me Anything” session on the social networking website Reddit last year, famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said that we evolved to be smarter than our ape-like ancestors and scientist Albert Einstein was smarter than his parents.

“If they become that clever, then we may face an ‘intelligence explosion’, as machines develop the ability to engineer themselves to be far more intelligent,” he said in reply to a question on the discussion board.

That might eventually result in “machines whose intelligence exceeds ours by more than ours exceeds that of snails”, Hawking answered.

That may be a daunting task for people to absorb. But perhaps human intelligence will evolve to do just that. (IANS) (Image source: digitaltrends.com)

Next Story

Facebook Announces Investments in the Field of Artificial Intelligence

This process provides guidelines to help researchers and programmers design datasets, measure product performance, and test new systems through the lens of inclusivity

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook has announced long-term investments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to proactively detect content that violates its policies.

“To help us catch more of this problematic content, we’re working to make sure our AI systems can understand content with as little supervision as possible,” Manohar Paluri from Facebook’s AI team said during the company’s F8 conference in San Jose, California, on Thursday.

“Advances in natural language processing (NLP) have helped us create a digital common language for translation, so we can catch harmful content across more languages,” Paluri added.

Facebook has developed a new approach to object recognition called “Panoptic FPN” that has helped AI-powered systems understand context from the backgrounds of photos.

“Training models that combine visual and audio signals further improves results,” said Paluri.

Facebook is currently facing several probes across the world for privacy violations and the spread of harmful and biased content on its platforms, including WhatsApp.

facebook, personal data
FILE – A man poses for a photo in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences in San Francisco, California, March 26, 2018. VOA

Joaquin Quinonero Candela from Facebook’s AI team said the company is building best practices for fairness to ensure AI protects people and does not discriminate against them a” into every step of product development.

“When AI models are trained by humans on datasets involving people, there is an inherent representational risk.

“If the datasets contain limitations, flaws or other issues, the resulting models may perform differently for different people,” said Candela.

Also Read- Russian President Vladimir Putin Signs Russian Internet Bill into Law

To manage that risk, Facebook said it has developed a new process for inclusive AI.

This process provides guidelines to help researchers and programmers design datasets, measure product performance, and test new systems through the lens of inclusivity.

“For vision, those dimensions include skin tone, age and gender presentation and for voice, they include dialect, age and gender, said the company. (IANS)