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Last Updated : Feb 01, 2019 08:57 PM IST | Source:

Budget 2019: Focus on artificial intelligence as it makes waves in healthcare, employment and M&E

AI is also making healthcare more accessible and affordable

Moneycontrol News @moneycontrolcom

The importance of artificial intelligence in India can be gauged from the fact that the impact of digital technologies on the GDP component today is 8 percent, which will increase to 60 percent by 2021. The data was provided by Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, recently at an event. He also said India has the highest penetration of artificial intelligence in the workforce.

In pre-budget expectations, not only tech companies but also media and entertainment players had hoped for a strong focus on emerging technologies.

Acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said during the Budget 2019 speech that “in order to take the benefits of artificial intelligence and related technologies to the people, a national programme on AI  has been envisaged".


Establishment of the National Centre on Artificial Intelligence as a hub along with centres of excellence was also announced. Nine priority areas have been identified. A National Artificial Intelligence portal will also be developed soon, Goyal said in the speech.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming increasingly important for business and setting up of national centre for artificial intelligence, along with the development of national AI portal, will further improve the ability to handle large data efficiently and with greater data security,” said Shikhar Aggarwal, JMD, BLS International.

AI is making waves in the education sector, in healthcare and against popular belief, will also create employment.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is encouraging a gradual evolution in the job market that, with the right preparation, will be positive. New jobs will offset those lost. People will still work, but they'll work more efficiently with the help of AI, according to a PwC 2018 report.

While statements like robots and AI will destroy jobs have made headlines, a Gartner report states that in 2020, AI will become a positive net job motivator. It will create 2.3 million jobs while only eliminating 1.8 million jobs.

A recent TeamLease report said India's IT industry will see an addition of around 2.5 lakh new jobs in 2019. The report added that the adoption of emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and robotics for automation is driving the industry's growth.

Global tech company Microsoft is aiming to skill over 10,000 developers. It also plans to set up AI labs in 10 universities and train 5 lakh youth across the country over the next three years.

The company will also offer a wide range of AI developmental tools and Azure AI Services such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning and Bot Services. Training will include development workshops to help both the faculty and students build their skills and expertise in cloud computing, data sciences, AI and IoT. Additionally, it will assist faculty in strategizing content and curriculum for project-based and experiential learning.

AI is also making healthcare more accessible and affordable. But how? One example of this is Narayana Health, which has implemented real-time data analytics and predictive insights across their operations running on Microsoft Azure, SQL Server and Power BI.

With the help of AI solutions, the hospital chain can predict better cost of surgeries, reduce the time spent by patients in the ICU or monitor consumables and antibiotic use.

From content processing and recognition to speech recognition and machine learning (ML), there are myriad ways in which AI and ML are gaining traction in the media and entertainment sector.

“A step in the right direction with regards to a national centre for artificial intelligence will only lead into companies implementing these modern technologies into their products. When we look at the bigger picture, the customer experience is only going to improve going by these recent announcements,” said Apoorva Mehta, CEO Dharma Productions.

India Union Budget 2019: What does Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have up her sleeve? Click here for top and latest Budget news, views and analyses.
First Published on Feb 1, 2019 08:57 pm
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