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Last Updated : Dec 17, 2018 04:26 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Rise of the machines: 5 developments in AI that India witnessed in 2018

In the year gone by, rapid developments in mobile telephony and artificial intelligence have ensured that the vaunted emerging technology has been lifted off its pedestal and placed in the palm of your hand. 

Neha Alawadhi @alnehaa
Artificial intelligence, as a concept, has been around for over seven decades now, but 2018 can be deemed the year it truly struck a chord with the Indian populace. The term 'Artificial Intelligence' was coined by the American scientist John McCarthy in 1956 to describe the computational ability of machines to perform human-like tasks and even perceive conversations in natural languages spoken around the world. With the advent of mobile devices, AI has become accessible to the common person. Here is a look at what made 2018 the "year AI went big in India". (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
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Artificial intelligence, as a concept, has been around for over seven decades now, but 2018 can be deemed the year it truly struck a chord with the Indian populace. The term 'Artificial Intelligence' was coined by the American scientist John McCarthy in 1956 to describe the computational ability of machines to perform human-like tasks and even perceive conversations in natural languages spoken around the world. With the advent of mobile devices, AI has become accessible to the common person. Here is a look at what made 2018 the "year AI went big in India". (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

1. Sophia's India visit: In February this year, Sophia, the humanoid robot whose voice bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Audrey Hepburn, the Hollywood actress of yesteryear, was a panelist at one of the sessions at industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies' annual event. Sophia was developed by Hong Long-based Hanson Robotics, led by artificial intelligence developer David Hanson. Sophia took live questions on stage from a host in Hyderabad, leaving the audience in awe of its ability to comprehend questions in real-time, and also furnish answers to queries raised. (Image: Reuters)
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1. Sophia's India visit: In February this year, Sophia, the humanoid robot whose voice bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Audrey Hepburn, the Hollywood actress of yesteryear, was a panelist at one of the sessions at industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies' annual event. Sophia was developed by Hong Long-based Hanson Robotics, led by artificial intelligence developer David Hanson. Sophia took live questions on stage from a host in Hyderabad, leaving the audience in awe of its ability to comprehend questions in real-time, and also furnish answers to queries raised. (Image: Reuters)

2. Government banks on AI: The Indian government has put its weight behind the adoption of AI this year. The Ministry of Defence constituted an AI task force in February, which submitted its final report to the defence minister in June. The government think tank NITI Aayog also released a discussion paper in June titled "National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence," which was received well by industry and academia. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology also set up four panels on different aspects of AI. (Image: Moneycontrol )
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2. Government banks on AI: The Indian government has put its weight behind the adoption of AI this year. The Ministry of Defence constituted an AI task force in February, which submitted its final report to the defence minister in June. The government think tank NITI Aayog also released a discussion paper in June titled "National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence," which was received well by industry and academia. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology also set up four panels on different aspects of AI. (Image: Moneycontrol )

3. AI becomes fashionable: Indian fashion designers Falguni and Shane Peacock introduced Cognitive Couture in collaboration with IBM cognitive technology Watson, through an "AI saree". The saree gown that was worn by winners at an event had LED lights that changed colours according to the wearer's personality. With the help of Watson’s Personality Insights application programme interface, the team conducted a detailed study on each awardee through their social media handles. (Image: Falguni Shane Peacock and IBM Watson)
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3. AI becomes fashionable: Indian fashion designers Falguni and Shane Peacock introduced Cognitive Couture in collaboration with IBM cognitive technology Watson, through an "AI saree". The saree gown that was worn by winners at an event had LED lights that changed colours according to the wearer's personality. With the help of Watson’s Personality Insights application programme interface, the team conducted a detailed study on each awardee through their social media handles. (Image: Falguni Shane Peacock and IBM Watson)

4. AI goes vernacular: After years of research and investment, a few hits and misses, 2018 was the year where global technology giants made concrete efforts to develop Indian language-centric products. Global technology majors like Google, Amazon and Facebook have taken a crack at leveraging India's demographic dividend by bringing more AI-driven products to millions of people in their native tongues. With the evolution of the digital ecosystem, and evidence that the next wave of growth of the Internet will come from smaller cities and towns, the adoption of Indic-language scripts has acquired greater importance. (Image: Google)
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4. AI goes vernacular: After years of research and investment, a few hits and misses, 2018 was the year where global technology giants made concrete efforts to develop Indian language-centric products. Global technology majors like Google, Amazon and Facebook have taken a crack at leveraging India's demographic dividend by bringing more AI-driven products to millions of people in their native tongues. With the evolution of the digital ecosystem, and evidence that the next wave of growth of the Internet will come from smaller cities and towns, the adoption of Indic-language scripts has acquired greater importance. (Image: Google)

5. AI for social good: The theme of using AI for social good is one that the Indian government has been championing for a long time now. Global technology giants like Google, Microsoft and IBM have been working on AI in agriculture, healthcare, and education. Additionally, several startups, Indian and foreign-based, have done good work in improving the quality of diagnostic tools to minimise error, and help save human lives. (Image: Reuters)
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5. AI for social good: The theme of using AI for social good is one that the Indian government has been championing for a long time now. Global technology giants like Google, Microsoft and IBM have been working on AI in agriculture, healthcare, and education. Additionally, several startups, Indian and foreign-based, have done good work in improving the quality of diagnostic tools to minimise error, and help save human lives. (Image: Reuters)

First Published on Dec 17, 2018 03:41 pm
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