Future of Data Science and AI in India

Future of Data Science and AI in India

Last updated: May, 2023
Future of Data Science and AI in India

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the potential of machines to impersonate the capabilities of the human mind. These machines are enabling high-level cognitive processes like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem-solving and decision-making with advancements in data collection, aggregation, analytics, and computer processing power. The goal of AI systems is to tackle complex problems in similar ways to human logic and reasoning. The market for AI is expected to reach US$ 7.8 billion by 2025 in India. According to the State of the Education report (SOER) 2022, AI will grow at a rate of 20.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). In recent years, all nations place the highest priority on strengthening educational standards and student learning results. By 2030, AI in education systems will contribute considerable efforts to achieve sustainable development goals in India along with help in addressing issues related to equality, equity, and inclusion in education. AI will complement and supplement human intelligence and enrich the way people live and work.

AI has been the most revolutionary creation and is expected to have a prominent impact on the evolution of mankind. The global AI market in 2021 was nearly US$ 59.67 billion and it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 39.4% to reach US$ 422.37 billion by 2028. While the AI market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20.2% to reach US$ 7.8 billion by 2025 from US$ 3.1 billion in 2020. The number of AI start-ups increased 14 times from 2000 till September 2022. Artificial intelligence has been gaining massive traction due to the enormous change in business operations and fast-paced technological advancement. The trend will only grow further in the coming years.

Experts have predicted that, by 2030, there will be a 31.4% increase in jobs related to data science and mathematical science, mostly AI-based.

Data science has been one of the most extensive applications of artificial intelligence as AI can provide massive analytical power. It facilitates extracting insights and patterns from a large data set and using it to make predictions on possible outcomes. Some common systems used for data analysis involve Google Analytics, automation platforms, business intelligence systems, content management systems, and CRMs. Data science users often use AI to get more refined value from already existing data and make valuable predictions.

Data science and AI are currently reigning technologies which have conquered industries around the world owing to the massive explosion in data and the increasing need for businesses to rely on data for major decision-making. Data scientists help businesses analyse large amounts of data from numerous sources, assess their performance, and recommend necessary adjustments to improve it. Additionally, they support the product development team in customising goods and services by examining consumer behaviour. The extensive analysis of data through AI helps to save a lot of money and time for businesses.

The emerging technology has made it all-pervasive. It is not only for big businesses and industries instead it impacts our daily lives as well. We come across the influence of these technologies throughout the day, from weather forecasts, filtering spam emails, enabling search predictions in Google, personalizing social media feeds, and voice recognition such as Apple’s Siri, Google Now, Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa. The data science technologies also help OTT and other video streaming platforms like Netflix and Spotify to extract customer preferences and their viewing patterns to develop and curate highly targeted shows. Various e-commerce giants such as amazon, Flipkart, Meesho, etc., use customer data such as buying patterns, tastes, and preferences to present customised shopping recommendations.

Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India
AI is one of the emerging industries that is turning out to be a proxy for human brains. It performs various business functions without a human intervention like customer interaction, creating brand awareness on social media, etc. AI is widely transforming various sectors such as healthcare, insurance, finance, marketing, etc., by automating their processes. It helps these sectors to analyse records, conduct market research, interact with potential customers, etc. AI has huge potential across the globe. India is the fastest-growing economy with the second-largest population in the world and has a significant stake in the AI revolution.

Considering the potential of AI to transform the economy, the finance minister of India in budget 2018-19 mandated NITI Aayog to establish a national program on AI. It was organised with a view to guiding the research and development segment about new and emerging technologies.

In 2022-23, the public funding for the digital India mission increased by 67% to reach US$ 1.29 billion (Rs. 10,676 crore). This mission involves a plan for the effective utilization of AI to promote financial inclusion, supplement the education sector, and transform the urban infrastructure. States such as Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana are already utilising AI-based tools to support law and order, increase agricultural productivity, and improve healthcare delivery.

AI helps to contribute to various sectors such as agriculture and healthcare. India had an estimated 1,000 agriculture start-ups working with the government as of March 2022 in the aggrotech segment.

The National Agriculture Market and eNAM, an electronic trading platform across India, are two of the top government assistance programmes that have helped to improve the agricultural system. Using sustainable technologies, the National Sustainable Agriculture Mission seeks to increase agricultural output. A national e-Governance Plan for agriculture gives funding for cutting-edge technology like blockchain, machine learning, drones, and AI top priority. Farmers in this area get the benefits of using GPS, GIS, and satellite imagery. GPS- enabled devices can be used to guide drones and help in monitoring and implementing better irrigation practices.

Farmers who deal with periodic yield monitoring and inconsistency can benefit from start-ups that focus on GPS, GIS, and satellite images. Data about crop health such as the type and extent of disease manifestation can also be recorded to improvise crop quality. These data are helpful in supporting decisions about irrigation and fertilizer requirements. As a result, farmers can take considerable action to mitigate damage and associated costs. The Indian agriculture sector accounts for around 19% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Emerging technologies have helped in the control of various imprudent and polluting practices. Start-ups such as CropIN, AgroStar, DeHaat, Fasal, and SatSure are addressing the issues.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in accordance with National Education Policy (NEP) has introduced artificial intelligence as a subject in class IX and class XI in their affiliated schools implementing from the academic year 2020-21. During a discussion in the Lok Sabha in August 2022, Minister of State for Education Annpurna Devi highlighted AI initiatives like the Diksha portal. This portal uses artificial intelligence methods to offer self-paced learning, and it is designed using open-source software to offer content for school education in states as well as UTs. It also provides QR-coded energised texts for all grades (one nation, one digital platform). As of March 28 2023, DIKSHA has 16.82 million students enrolled in various courses. A total of 9.32 million learning sessions have been attended in Karnataka followed by Rajasthan with 6.10 million and Odisha accounts for 4.45 million total learning sessions. The idea of cloud-based education in India is expanding widely as it helps to improve physical and digital access to resources. Companies like Miko, an artificial intelligence (AI) driven companion robot for kids, offer services including chatting, reacting, instructing, amusing, and comprehending the child's needs, emotions, and likes and dislikes. These businesses, along with other start-ups, gained traction in the Covid, creating an online ecosystem enabling kids to learn more quickly. There are many AI start-ups developed in 2022 which contribute to the nation’s education segment such as HackerRank, iNurture Square Panda etc.

Healthcare is also one of the sectors which have included AI to improve performance across the sector. One of the recent examples is the collaboration of Google with Apollo Hospitals in India to improve the deep learning models in x-rays and other diagnostic purposes. The issue of poor availability of better healthcare facilities in rural areas is being analysed by AI. The early and rapid detection of these issues can be a powerful tool for targeted public health interventions, particularly in rural areas. The adoption of enhanced technologies and automated intervention provides opportunities to bridge existing gaps in the healthcare sector. Companies like Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Apple have spent around US$ 3 billion in 2021 in the healthcare sector to amplify the growth with start-ups such as Pharmeasy, HealthifyMe, Healthplix, DocTalk, etc. The algorithms of AI have augmented the healthcare space ranging from early disease diagnosis, drug recovery trials, and precision in patient monitoring to self-care.

During complete lockdown in India, AI-powered start-up MyHealthcare which is recognised by NASSCOM built AI-based solutions by adopting speciality care EMR solutions, voice-based CPOE and AI-enabled CDSS that helps to deliver personalised healthcare services to their patients. There has been the integration of AI with diagnostic algorithms for screening diseases ranging from cancer, and diabetic retinopathy to cardiovascular disease.

The Indian defence industry is working towards transforming the armed forces into one of the most advanced in the world. The adoption of various technologies based on AI will revolutionise the Indian Military and help India to become one of the biggest defence product markets. This collaborative effort among the public and private sectors of industry, research organisations, academic institutions, start-ups, and innovators has contributed to the development of numerous innovative technological products based on AI in the fields of data, logistics, surveillance, weapons, and many others. The introduction of autonomy in weapon systems, in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) data management, can be a huge asset in stopping terrorism, installing counter-terrorism measures, and protecting soldiers. In fact, AI in defence can change combat and conflict at the deepest levels.