In a rapidly transforming world, terms such as AI, ML and data science are not just jargon anymore. The role of artificial intelligence and machine learning is increasing at an exponential pace as these technologies are paving paths that did not exist previously. Given the nature of these technologies, it is highly imperative that we not only recognise their potential but also start implementing them vigorously. With all that in mind, BW Businessworld spoke to the founder and CEO of AI Planet, Chanukya Patnaik about the role of AI, the misconceptions related to it and much more.
I want to understand the role of AI in tech advancement and technocrats’ future development.
I consider AI as software 2.0. Not only does it mimics human intelligence, but it has the potential to transform the world for good. In 2021, companies spent USD 342 billion on AI, and the global market for AI is expected to reach USD 2.3 trillion by 2030, which clearly indicates it can be transformational both from the economy and creating opportunities perspective. Furthermore, artificial intelligence can also help solve societal problems that have been difficult to address so far. As we progress, we can predict natural disasters, reduce food wastage through more efficient supply chains, enable inclusivity for the specially-abled, and solve many more key challenges of humanity.
What would you say is the right time to learn AI?
There is no other better timing than now when it comes to acquiring AI and data skills. With its rapid adoption in our lives, education and awareness of AI are more important than ever. In an AI-enabled future, it’s important for everyone to be AI literate.
As far as what age one should learn is concerned, it is never late to learn a skill. As a matter of fact, our community at AI Planet consists of high school students to 69-year-olds who learn and enhance their skills in data and artificial intelligence.
There are a lot of misconceptions about AI. Would you care to shed some light on them?
AI will replace humans – This is arguably the most widespread and potentially dangerous misconception. While automation will lead to increased redundancy of several low-skilled jobs, it will likely create more jobs than it will displace. AI in the workplace has the power to improve how people and businesses perform their jobs rather than removing the need for humans to do those jobs entirely. In a nutshell, AI will empower us to perform better, and at the same it is important we embrace the AI era by upskilling ourselves.
AI is a bit overhyped – While it is true that AI is going to transform the world, today the majority of AI projects to the tune of 85 per cent fail to impact businesses. There is a massive shortage of industry-ready talent and there is a lack of awareness about the best data practices. Right now, the adoption of AI that we are seeing is just due to the application of AI at large tech companies. We are yet to harness the full potential of AI across industries and companies of all sizes.
I want you to tell us how is AI Planet (formerly known as DPhi) impacting tech solutions?
We, at AI Planet, are building a global ecosystem with a vision to educate and build AI for everyone with the community at the core of it. We believe this will go a long way in shaping the future by empowering individuals and companies with the essentials of AI and preparing them for the AI era.
Since our inception, many have benefited from our free courses and boot camps. Our crowdsourcing platform has fostered AI-driven innovation among several leading companies and solved several real-life problems, including predicting earthquakes to save lives, safeguarding NFTs, and building AI-powered lenses for the blind, etc. Soon we will launch a global AI marketplace with ready-to-use AI solutions built by the best data scientists worldwide which will democratize the use of AI in any software product.
Given the times we live in, how important is AI education for IT employees today?
In my opinion, it is very crucial that IT professionals are aware of fundamental AI and data practices. It is not necessary for all of them to be experts, but they must at least have essential knowledge, and a few of them may even become data scientists later on. Furthermore, I believe AI awareness should not just be limited to IT people, rather it should be spread across the entire organization so that even business people and executives know about the practices and use cases. When implemented rightly, it can help organizations bridge the knowledge gaps, and open up new opportunities. This is where companies must implement AI and data literacy programs.