AI and its overarching impact on our lives in India

07 March 2018

March 7, 2018
Budget 2018 called for a shift towards doubling distribution and investments in the ‘Digital India’ programme to the tune of Rs 3,073 crore. Earlier, fewer efforts have been made by the government, but with the establishment of National Programme by Niti Aayog, the field of AI, IoT and robotics has received a much-needed boost, thereby ensuring its development. AI has always been an essential part of our lives and possesses great potential to change our lives through its applications. Currently almost all the sectors have taken up AI applications working towards greater advancement in technology. For instance, sectors like automobiles, healthcare and language processing have incorporated AI. In fact, technology giants like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon have recognized the importance of AI and are already investing heavily in deep learning technologies that assist AI.
Artificial Intelligence presents a world of new opportunities and some of its biggest strengths are as follows:

  • Solution to problems – Solving problems is the fundamental quality of AI where it aids in providing solutions to critical problems, similar to how humans solve them.
  • Data Analytics – AI can develop data analytics and fasten the evolvement of algorithms with transactional data. This in turn helps uncover new data insights and aids in the development of various business processes.
  • Medical Science – AI can create virtual personal healthcare assistants that have the ability to do analytics and research. Also, healthcare bots can play a role in offering assistance and support 24/7.
  • Aerospace Industry – The aerospace industry is unimaginable without AI. Majority of the activities performed for managing air transportation is based on the techniques of AI. Air transportation activities make use of software which are typically designed using AI applications.
  • Gaming – The video gaming field has developed immensely in recent times thanks to gaming bots that are capable of behaving and playing like human players. These bots can effectively replace a human and seamlessly play the role of a competitive opponent.
  • Other applications – In addition to the above-mentioned industries, AI can also be used in image processing, handwriting and speech recognition, vision systems and many more.

In modern times, the most common applications we find are autonomous operations, search engines, interactive eLearning systems along with recognition software for facial features, spell checkers, speech detectors, voice, finger prints, anti-spam programs and algorithms used for scanning databases to identify anomalies if any. The more intense the application is, the more importance does AI possesses in the application. For instance, self-driving cars, weather prediction, automated warehousing, corporate telephone systems, stock trading, self-piloted planes, military net-centric warfare, computer space systems, etc are a few examples.
Artificial Intelligence and its diversified Potential
In the upcoming years, AI promises to play a major role in shaping each and every individual’s life. There will be artificially intelligent robotic androids present in our homes and computers playing decision makers at work. One can even predict that in the near future we could witness artificial intelligence playing a role in our transportation systems, our government, environment, entertainment systems, money flows, distribution systems and almost everything that one could imagine. It is also believed that AI will replace humans in the workplace with its unique ability for problem solving, strategizing and generating innovative solutions.
Listed below are a few potential sectors that can benefit from AI:

  • Automated Transportation – Already the beginning of self-driving cars can be seen; despite the fact that presently a driver is required to be present at the wheel for safety purposes today. The technology of automated transportation has not taken shape completely as yet and requires public acceptance for widespread use. It is believed that with the help of AI applications we will be able to witness automated transportation system in the recent future.
  • Cyborg Technology – Our bodies and brains set limitation of being a human at times. According to research, it is believed that there will be a time when we will have the ability in augment ourselves with computers, thereby enhancing many of our natural abilities. Also, it is anticipated that AI will be beneficial to those with handicaps such as people having amputated limbs, enabling the brain to communicate with the robotic limb so as to provide more control to the individual. Such cyborg technology will surely lessen the limitations faced by amputees on a daily basis.
  • Undertaking dangerous jobs – We have already seen robots undertake hazardous jobs, one example being bomb defusing. According to BBC, these cannot be considered as complete robots, they are basically technical drones used as physical counterpart to defuse bombs. With advancements in the field of AI, we can see these machines functioning in an advanced manner. In addition to this, other jobs like welding will be outsourced to robots as it produces heat, toxic particles and loud noise.
  • Providing solution to climate change – As we know, machines have greater access to data as compared to human beings. It is next to impossible for a human mind to store complex statistical figures. It is believed that AI will be able to identify trends by utilizing big data and further using that information for innovative solutions for some of the world’s biggest problems, climate change being one among them.
  • Improvement in decision making – When decision making is taken into consideration, many fear that AI will replace human intuition and intelligence. In reality AI could help in making faster and smarter business decision making. For making a right decision, AI has the advantage of analyzing huge amounts of data and applying human understanding, logic and creativity to it. Thus, decision making stands out as one of the greatest values of AI. This will free us from relying on intuitions, guesses and gut-feelings, thereby providing data-driven insights to arrive at the right decision.
  • Change in the process of recruitment, retention and hiring – There will be AI oriented tools for management of human performance which could allow companies to recruit people based more on their skills, talent and value. Attributes like education qualification and years of experience will not be taken into consideration. People will be then matched to their appropriate roles based on their performance, behavioral attributes and strategic talent. This will keep the workplaces inclusive and assorted, removing all the traditional assessments. Also, the areas where hiring inequality exist can be discovered and time can be reviewed through the predictions entirely based on historical data.
  • Shift to continuous learning – Training in most of the workplaces is periodic. But by applying AI applications, companies will be capable of delivering a continuous process of training and developing skills. This can be done by analyzing an individual’s behavioral patterns, current status, satisfaction and sentiment. Such developmental opportunities will not only help the employees to enhance or learn new skills for a better career, but also help in reduction of turnover which could positively impact the growth of the company.

Therefore, in the journey of digitalization and modernization of infrastructure, technology plays a crucial role. Budget 2018 therein covers investments towards improved education, developing the MSME sector, upgrading infrastructure, ensuring safer travel through railways, introducing benefits for the poor and many more. Most importantly the initiative by Niti Aayog on AI, IoT and robotics focuses on development in the technological field helping in prepare for a better and a more advanced nation.