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India is Ready to Embrace Automation #Budget2018 Government is willing to invest in R&D in machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics etc.

By Sanchita Dash

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Digital India has long been the Modi government's focus with numerous initiatives to push Indian business owners to adapt technology into their operations. GST was a big change that forced the SMEs to move away from pen and paper and embrace technology for their businesses.

With the announcement of the Union Budget 2018-19, it has become even more obvious that the government wants to implement technology to push for growth. The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government is willing to invest in research and development in new areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics etc.

This comes as a welcome move for start-ups who have been focussing on automation and artificial intelligence for business processes. "Focus on AI and blockchain promises to make India go not only digital but further deep tech. The macro direction is very encouraging and we look forward to the fine print. The FM's budget speech gave centre stage to startups, angel investors and VC community and committed to build a more enabling ecosystem, simplify regulatory regime and encourage funding in seed and early stage," Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Founder & President, IAN | Founding Partner, IAN VC Fund.

The government's stamp of approval on walking towards an economy powered by artificial intelligence will further make way for start-ups or businesses in this sector to outsource their products to other companies.

While several industries in the country have already embraced automation, the government's focus on automation will encourage other companies too to come into the ambit of technology. "It is good to see that the government focuses on AI and Machine learning, which are areas new age companies are in to these days," said Shreyas Chandrahasan, Co-Founder, Option3.

Sectors that will be the Favourites of Artificial Intelligence

Banking and financial services: The traditional banking industry is undergoing the process of digital transformation. A recent study by Citigroup revealed across the world, "another 30% of bank jobs could be lost between 2015 and 2025, mainly due to retail banking automation.". However, what one needs to realise is that AI taking away jobs is a pass? thought, what one needs to concentrate on is how the same can be used to further ease communication or operational processes, making way for reskilling of labour.

Education: With Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, slow learning will gain prominence. Students will be able to pick up lessons at their own pace with the right mix of technology and devices. With the help of AI and machine learning, customised learning is sure to gain prominence and help transform training as per the strong and weak areas of a student, noted Zishaan Hayath, founder of Toppr.com.

Real Estate: The real estate sector has for long been riddled with the involvement of middlemen. For consumers and developers alike, the interaction with these middlemen often becomes a difficult task. But with the possible inclusion of AI in real estate, one could look at getting rid of the middleman to make way for more transparent transactions and dealings.

Healthcare: AI in healthcare can be used beneficially for various purposes. There are various studies that are using AI and Machine Learning to increase the speed of innovation in healthcare. So far, AI is trying to solve some of the biggest healthcare challenges in areas personal genetics, hyper-targeted drugs, diagnosis of new diseases and consumerization of healthcare.

Logistics: In an earlier article with Entrepreneur India, Nishith Rastogi, CEO and co-founder, Locus wrote, "Imagine the scope and scale of a large number of orders and a fleet consisting of hundreds of such executives. It is like being stranded in a sea of data, and not knowing where or how to row.This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) forays into the scene, with its ability to get even the most elaborate dataset to talk sense on command."

According to Rastogi, AI can leverage data platforms to process terabytes of data and create datasets to determine patterns and anomalies. These patterns are governed by predictive analysis, which can forecast the several variables mentioned in the above example.

How Automation Will Help Employees

When we are talking about Robotic Process Automation, whether it is rule-based or cognitive, it will help companies in not just improving their business with quality, speed and efficiency, but also in easing the stress on their employees, said Payeli Ghosh, founder of Option3, in an earlier article with Entrepreneur India. As businesses grow, the volume of processes increase proportionally, and along with it does the data. It becomes complicated and stressful for employees as they try to cope with it.

RPA reduces this stress by taking away repetitive tasks that take a lot of time and effort. Automation therefore should be welcomed as a productivity enabler. "Very soon, bots would soon be your tireless, super-efficient, all-weather colleague to help you at work! Businesses will soon find the balance to accommodate human and digital workforce to co-create together. This will happen with a strategic approach towards building a skilled workforce that can be smoothly transitioned to futuristic roles," said Ghosh.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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