Microsoft has ambitious plans to drive AI in India

Microsoft has ambitious plans to drive AI in India
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21 Feb, 2019

Technology giant Microsoft in a whitepaper has outlined the challenges and opportunities India faces with regard to artificial intelligence.

The paper, titled ‘Age of Intelligence’ and unveiled at the NASSCOM Technology and Leadership Forum (NTLF) 2019, detailed the country’s readiness towards digital transformation, with a clear focus on AI.

Microsoft is also focused on making India a digital economy by driving mobile penetration and reducing data costs to create an atmosphere conducive to extend AI to all parts of society.

Understanding that most initiatives required advanced technology at the backbone to reach all corners of the country, the statement called out to the Indian tech industry to actively partner with the company in order to realise India’s aspirations in AI and for better scalability. The paper laid an increased emphasis on the importance of cloud infrastructures and quick deployment of cloud services to drive AI adoption.

Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India said that the firm’s ambition was to enable a human-centered approach to AI, as the country is at a critical inflection point with reference to the technology.

“Building on the four foundational pillars—enabling digital transformation across industries, forging coalitions for innovation, building a future-ready workforce and creating sustained societal impact—will unlock and accelerate the potential of AI,” he explained.

Maheshwari also stressed that the AI implementations should be conducted within an ‘over-arching ethical framework’ in its development and usage.

The statement said that the world is embarking upon an ‘age of intelligence’ where AI will be used in all products and services. Ranging from the way individuals communicate to how companies function and societies evolve, there is a need for every developer to innovate and every organisation to redefine industries. 

With regards to innovation among developers, Microsoft is democratising AI on the Azure platform so that users can solve difficult case studies. For example, the digital language barrier among Indians is a hindrance for citizens to easily access services. The company is developing AI-enabled voice recognition, text to speech and translation products in key Indian languages.

Additionally, by working closely with developers at a local level, Microsoft aims to bring these services to major geographies that hold language barriers, the statement added.