India’s AI market likely to see 20% growth over next five years: Report



India’s artificial intelligence (AI) market is expected to witness a growth of 20% over the next five years, and the country is among the top three talent markets, producing 16% of the world’s AI talent pool, a joint study conducted by Microsoft and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has revealed.

“Artificial intelligence is no longer a fringe technology for Indian companies… The (AI) market is expected to grow at the second-fastest rate of 20% among major economies over the next five years, behind only China,” said the report titled ‘From Buzz to Reality: The Accelerating Pace of AI in India’.

The study was conducted on 343 enterprises and organisations that implemented AI, and 148 providers and tech players that provide AI solutions. It found “the thrust in adoption for enterprises is maximum in sectors such as communication, over-the-top (OTT), gaming, technology and financial services”. Nearly 64% of the providers have AI or machine learning (ML) as a core element in their products and services making them “either ahead of or on par with their global counterparts”, the study stated.

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Data quality, scale infrastructure and sensitivity or risks have been found to be the major barriers for enterprises for large-scale AI adoption. Providers also fail to develop minimum viable products (MVP), a product with enough features developed for early users and receiving feedback, due to a lack of infrastructure, tools and skills in data science.

The study further found extensive penetrations of AI or ML across enterprises, with nearly 80% of them having at least one AI model in their production. Large enterprises have adopted AI at a much higher rate as it helps them solve problems at scale, and provides vast amounts of data.

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Nearly half of the large enterprises are planning to build their own AI models in the next three years, and 45% of small enterprises prefer to buy pre-built models due to their high cost of in-house building. Large enterprises have recently increased their demands as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic to transform operations with AI.

The report found that India produces more talents than it consumes. Enterprises lack domain-specific expertise, data visualisation or analysis talents and data engineers and much of the talent is available specific to AI application development.

“NITI Aayog came out with an AI strategy in the summer of 2018 and India became one of the first countries to talk about the use of artificial intelligence to address inclusion and social challenges. The adoption of AI has to be accelerated across all relevant sectors and value chains. The future of AI will be decided by a diverse group of stakeholders like researchers, private organisations and citizens,” Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog, said at the launch event of the report on Tuesday.


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