The AI Savant: Mohammed Rafee Tarafdar, CTO, Infosys With over twenty years of IT experience, the CTO's expertise spans across different verticals. Currently, he is responsible for Infosys's focus on building next generation platforms, capabilities and solutions that would transform the company into 'AI Aware', 'AI Builders' and 'AI Masters'.

By Shrabona Ghosh

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Mohammed Rafee Tarafdar, CTO, Infosys

In this highly vying tech world, where innovations burgeon on a daily basis, in order to stand out, a tech-leader has to drive larger social good across communities they operate in. "It's important to build high tech talent density within the organization to bring change, work effectively with businesses, industry leaders for creating an impact across the communities they operate in," said, Mohammed Rafee Tarafdar, Chief Technology Officer, Infosys

With over twenty years of IT experience, the CTO's expertise spans across different verticals. Currently, he is responsible for Infosys's focus on building next generation platforms, capabilities and solutions that would transform the company into 'AI Aware', 'AI Builders' and 'AI Masters'. With an objective to amplify the human potential of employees, unlock value from knowledge and deliver significant value to clients, Infosys has advanced its technology strategy to become AI-first.

"With the AI-first outlook, we are evolving all the work we do for our clients and the services we offer to them with AI capabilities embedded in them. We are developing our workspace, campus and building to use AI to become further energy-efficient and smart with an aim to transform into 'AI Aware', 'AI Builders' and 'AI Masters," said Tarafdar.

Infosys has set up a dedicated AI team to ensure that 'Responsible by design' is not an afterthought. Taking the learnings from its own journey to be AI-first and the large-scale AI project experiences, the IT behemoth launched Infosys Topaz. "With our strategy at place, we are able to partner with our clients in shaping their AI outlook and accelerate their AI initiatives," he said.

These AI models solve problems in nine key business areas – Customer and Advisory Services, Sales & Marketing, Contact Center & Help desk, Business Operations, IT Operations, Software Engineering & Modernization, Employee Experience, Learning, and Risk Management.

Explaining the fundamental AI models, he said, "Whenever a pre-trained generalized or specialized AI model is fit for purpose, we use them and wherever we don't find them to be good fit, to solve those cases we are building specialized models, using fine tuning and other techniques. Using a narrow transformer approach, we have built specialized AI models based on open-source large language models. We will build more such specialized models that will become our core IP and we plan to use these and AI builder playbooks to accelerate our clients' AI programs."

As part of its talent expansion, Infosys is working at three levels of enablement: The first one is training people on what is generative AI, what can be done with this technology, what are the use cases and how to use AI assistants and features in their day-to-day work; the second set include training AI builders who will be using a lot of AI services that are already available to create specific AI-first solutions and for reimagining AI-first experience and processes and lastly, having AI masters with deep AI skills. "We are more focused on building and transforming tech talent that includes these AI builders and masters who can work with our clients on AI projects," the CTO explained.

Beyond AI, the company is continuing to invest and focus on Metaverse, Quantum computing, Sustainability & Green computing, Cybersecurity and Digital Public Infrastructure & protocols. "With our partnership with Linux foundation, Cloud native computing foundation and Linux foundation for networking we are working with open-source communities in enabling innovations in Cloud, 5G/6G and autonomous technologies," he added.

When asked about how their offerings and solutions affect business cost, he said, "Clients are currently experimenting and working on technologies and use cases to improve productivity and efficiency, drive cost reduction and improve customer and employee experience. As clients start reimagining critical business processes, the revenue generating opportunities to their business will emerge. This will happen through a combination of digital, cloud, and AI technologies."

Tech outlook for 2024

Generative AI: The number of generative AI solutions rolled out at scale are limited and in the next 1-2 years the company is expecting to see a lot more meaningful AI solutions to be rolled out within the enterprises.

AI regulations: In the last few months, AI regulations have also evolved along with the AI technology and today it is a bit fragmented across the globe. For global organizations, a lot of work has to be done to ensure compliance with the evolving AI regulations.

AI services: AI services will be embedded into most of the platforms (SAAS, PAAS, ERP) to become mainstream across organizations.

Shrabona Ghosh

Correspondent

A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 

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