India’s evolving AI ecosystem

After the proverbial digital tech stack, artificial intelligence is hailed as the next big thing for India in the global tech arena. Sometime ago, Niti Aayog had estimated that AI would lead to a 15% boost in gross value added to the Indian economy by 2035. More recently, tech forecasters have predicted that AI would add USD1,000 billion to India’s GDP by 2035. India’s AI growth story has been fuelled by well-targeted investments by national and global players. Wipro, Infosys, HCL Tech, TCS, Tech Mahindra, and LTI Mindtree have been exploring generative-AI models customised for enterprise-based solutions. IIT Delhi, NIT Trichy, and IIT Roorkee have centres of excellence working on AI-related R&D projects that focus on health, finance, business, transportation, and societal crisis management, among others.

R&D projects

What makes India’s AI scenario noteworthy is the euphoric response of global tech majors to the country’s evolving AI ecosystem. India is home to significant R&D investments in AI. The Nvidia-CSIR Centre of Excellence initiative, which goes back to 2018, seeks to develop AI-based applications on the foundation of industry-class supercomputing. Microsoft Azure’s OpenAI is the catalyst for AI4Bharat, a government-backed initiative piloted by IIT Madras that focuses on natural language processing (NLP) models (more on this later). Another collaborative venture is Vaani, an AI-enabled multilingual project that Google has initiated in partnership with Indian Institute of Science and Artpark. This project seeks to generate a large language model (LLM) model for Indian languages based on Google’s Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.

The startup scene

India’s AI startups have largely focused on scalable solutions involving machine learning, computer vision, and edge computing. The targeted sectors include finance, actuarial and banking, e-commerce, high-tech farming systems (which make use of satellite and geospatial data to guide crop husbandry practices) and health-sector ventures that utilise AI for rapid screening of diseases. AI-powered language-translation platforms add to the repertoire. Transliteration and translation services make extensive use of deeplearning tools and NLPs. The Centre for Visual Information Technology of IIIT Hyderabad has developed tools to map Indian languages based on audio samples, using deep learning techniques. The AI4Bharat programme has spawned opensource projects focused on Indian languages. Being open source, these projects have attracted inputs from talented developers in GitHub. With generative AI increasingly finding applications in process automation, a few startups have taken up generative-AI projects in manufacturing. In the meantime, the advent of AI chatbots in educational institutions has led to new ventures that focus on tools that detect AI-generated content in test papers and assignments. [Read more…]

Please provide your contact details to hear from us on IPCIDE's research.