IS INDIA A LAGGARD IN THE AI RACE?
In the race of technology, funding, talent, urge to research & innovate is the winner. The capability to commercialise is the final goal. India has been a loser in various waves of technology, hitting mankind. Whether it is the Block Chain Technology or the flavour of the day, Artificial Intelligence, will India be a master player in the cut throat competition?
Whatever may be the spat between Mark Zuckerberg & Elon Musk, AI is the biggest talking point in technology . Billions of dollars are being invested in AI research / products by VCs with US & China being the main players. The stark reality is that the Indian start ups have collectively raised just around $100 million dollars in the last three years. This is smaller than Andrew Ng’s recently launched $150 million VC fund. Another appropriate analogy would be the Grammarly, a valley based spell check tool raised more dollars that whole of Indian start ups combined in this sector for the last three & a half years.
Recent PWC report on AI pegs an additional $15.7 trillion dollars to the world GDP by 2030. Which countries will max this pie. India does not seem to be in the race at all. Most of the gains of this huge potential market will land up in the American & Chinese laps. Mind boggling 70% between the two, to be precise as per present trends. Risk of becoming a laggard in this race would entail huge potential implications, economic & technological. There can be even far reaching existential risks.
The problem for an AI start up is with talent & also in finding the elusive product – market fit. Its an sticky issue for Indian start up because of lack of access to large data sets. Ironical it may sound in a country of 1.3 billion people. To train the machine, data sets are critical. How will jigsaw puzzle get solved, tech followers are watching from the rings. We have no lessons learnt from earlier missed opportunities. An AI research & development plan is the need of hour. The gap has already grown huge. Biting the challenge is the only answer.
AI RACE WINNERS WILL BECOME THE GLOBAL TECH LEADERS.