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NASSCOM FutureSkills and Microsoft launch AI Classroom Series

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New Delhi, September 10, 2020: As part of its ongoing efforts to promote skilling as a national priority, NASSCOM FutureSkills and Microsoft have joined hands to launch a nation-wide AI skilling initiative. The initiative aims to skill 1 million students in AI by 2021. The collaboration will provide Microsoft's AI, machine learning and data science expertise to students through easy to consume modules including live demos, hands on workshops and assignments. These introductory sessions on AI will be available for undergraduate students at no cost and will cover the basics of data science, machine learning models on Azure, and understanding of cognitive services to build intelligent solutions. The partnership with NASSCOM FutureSkills is an extension of Microsoft's global skilling initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire new digital skills, needed to thrive in a digital economy.


Women Leaders in AI - 2020 - NASSCOM Community

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The excitement of using Artificial Intelligence has not dwindled from the time it has been unfolded. In KPMG study on “living in the AI world 2020: achievements and challenges of AI across 5 industries (retail, financial service, healthcare, transportation, and technology), revealed that 92% of respondents agreed that leveraging the spectrum of AI technologies will make their companies run more efficiently. Amidst the admiration towards AI, IBM created the Women Leaders in AI program in 2019. This was a way to acknowledge the women leading in AI and encourage females to lend a hand in the field of AI. Through this IBM, planned to make the efforts of the honourees more visible to the world. 2020 IBM women leaders were honoured for outstanding leadership in the AI space. Here is the list of women leaders in AI 2020 honorees:- Aarthi Fernandez Who is a Global head of Trade Operations and SEA Trade COO at Standard Chartered Bank? She is a C-suite executive with deep insight on how digitalization can positively disrupt US$17 trillion global trade. She is into deploying AI/Machine learning to make trade financing simple, faster, and better for corporate clients and mitigate compliance risk. Piera Valeria Cordaro She is a commercial Operations Innovation Manager, Wing Tre S.p.A., Italy. She is a speaker, advocating the use of AI in customer operations. Along with her team and with support by IBM Watson, implemented two chatbots, to improve customer experience. Both bots have made it possible to handle a million queries efficiently. Amala Duggirala Who is the enterprise Chief operation and Technology officer, Regions Bank, United States. To handle customers’ inquiries she deployed IBM Watson’s assistant- virtual banker persona, ”Reggie”. From the time of its implementation 4.3 million customer calls have been answered, with 22% of them being handled by AI. Mara Reiff Vice President, Strategy and Business Intelligence, Beli Canada, Canada. She used AI to improve operations, loyalty, and brand. She worked with IBM to install Watson studio Local using Red Hat open shift. This resulted in smarter, fast decision-making with improved customer experience leading to increased sales. Mara suggests everybody to “Make sure to stop and smell the roses. Take each opportunity to learn something new and embrace change”. Amy Shreve- McDonald She is lead Product Marketing Manager for Business Digital experience, AI&T, USA. EVA (Enterprise Virtual Agent) was launched in February 2019, to improve customer chat experience, it uses Watson assistant. This system has been able to handle 45% chats on its own, resulting in reduced costs and expanding 24/7 support. She also received AT&T’s 2019 Visionary Award for her work advocating EVA. Ryoko Miyashita Manager, customer service department, customer service section JACCS CO., LTD Japan. She launched a Watson-enabled operator onboarding tool, that resulted in reduced new operator training period by 30%. The tool has increase customer satisfaction. Her advice to the younger self is “It is important to believe in yourself, but it is equally or more important to believe in people around you. I would encourage myself to have many experiences and garner knowledge to objectively evaluate things, not blindly accept or exclude others’ opinions”. Carol Chen She is Vice President for Global Marketing, Global Commercial, Royal Dutch Shell, United Kingdom. Along with her team, Carol is partnering is planning for digital transformation with the creation of “Oren”- a Smart Minning Platform, by partnering with IBM. This platform will offer an innovative and creative experience for users in the sector to deliver connectivity and integration across the ecosystem. To use AI, she advice commencing with analyzing the business outcome that one wants and customer pain points that one can cater to. The next step would be to determine how to leverage AI and data to solve the problem. Rosa Martinez Cognitive Project Manager, CiaxaBank, Spain. For those who consider using AI, her advice to them is ‘first to understand the business case as it may take time more than expected. This phase can result in a non-AI project example a ‘software as usual’. But moving further with the project there can be more AI application for sure to work on’. Lee- Lim Sok Know Deputy Principal, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore. Under the leadership of Sok Keow, The higher education institution in Singapore ‘Temasek Polytechnic’ launched the “Ask TP” chatbot in January 2018. The chatbot helped current as well as prospective students to get answers to the questions asked about Temasek and also gave personalized course advice. In the 1st two weeks of 2020, ‘Ask’ TP’ responded to more than4,351 questions. She suggests everybody “deeply appreciate ‘people’ as they are the most critical asset in an organization, and a leader must develop a team”. Itumeleng Monale Executive Head of Enterprise Information Management Personal and Business Banking, Standard Bank of South Africa, South Africa. By deploying many analytical tools in her organization, she can uplift the revenue of the company. Through models of analytics relationships, bankers are experiencing a 40% revenue uplift when comparing to their peers. She sees AI as a tool through which business delivery can be accelerated, value could be added to human capital and relationships can build further. With this AI era, Research has postulated that corporate giants still have less percentage of women in the technical department. Facebook’s diversity report suggests that there are 22 % of women in the technical department and 15 per cent of women work in the AI research group. Similarly, Google’s diversity report suggests that only 10% women are working on  “machine intelligence”. There is a need to encourage women participation as there are many more women around the world, stepping out of the pre-existed sheathe and going beyond the walls to shape the future. Opening up the AI platform for all will fetch us more talented beings which can help us celebrate the use of AI in different fields and different ways. Reference:- https://www.ibm.com/watson/women-leaders-in-ai/2020-list https://advisory.kpmg.us/content/dam/advisory/en/pdfs/2020/technology-living-in-an-ai-world.pdf   About the author:- Kirti Kumar is a budding HR professional currently pursuing PGDM in HR and Marketing at New Delhi Institue of Management. She looks forward to opportunities that can hone her skills. She is agile in her attitude with versatility in her action


Help Alexa learn more Indian languages: Amazon India

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New Delhi: As Alexa in Hindi celebrates its first anniversary in India, the company is hopeful that her knowledge graph will improve and it will talk to millons of people in several regional languages in the near future. Today, users from India make hundreds of thousands of requests in a day to Alexa in Hindi and Hinglish. "I can't speculate on our future roadmap but I can tell you the Alexa service is getting smarter every day and we're working hard to continue to increase her knowledge graph," Puneesh Kumar, Country Leader for Alexa, Amazon India, told IANS. "We also encourage more Indian customers to try Cleo skill and help Alexa learn more Indian languages," he added. The language-learning skill called Cleo helps customers respond to Alexa in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other languages.


Robot dogs join US Air Force for major exercise, could be 'key to next-gen warfare'

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New Delhi: In a bid to increase use of artificial intelligence in the military, the US Air force conducted a major exercise with robot dogs trained to scout for threats before their human counterparts enter the field. The four-legged, headless, mechanical creatures were made to exit an aircraft and look for signs of danger at the Nellis Air Force Base in the US state of Nevada last week. They are part of an Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) that the US Air force is building, which will use artificial intelligence and data analytics to detect counter threats to the US military. "Valuing data as an essential war fighting resource, one no less vital than jet fuel or satellites, is the key to next-gen warfare," Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, told CNN. The dogs have been manufactured by Ghost Robotics, a company based in Philadelphia, and are called Vision 60 UGVs, or "autonomous unmanned ground vehicles".


AI to make banking more inclusive: Microsoft India head

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New Delhi: Banking in the future will combine artificial and human intelligence (AI HI) to be more collaborative, personalised, inclusive, deliver better products and consumer experience, Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari has said. Building a scalable model for leveraging the full potential of data and AI will be central to driving innovation and digital transformation across industries, and particularly in the banking and financial sector, Maheshwari wrote in a foreword to a white paper released by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT). "We're already seeing more innovation than ever in fintech as people are depending less on physical wallets and using more of digital payment mechanisms," Maheshwari said. "Financial services organisations have been leveraging AI to enhance customer experience, improve operational efficiency, manage risks, detect frauds, gather data-driven insights, and even streamline regulatory compliance." Aimed at supporting banks in their AI journey, IDRBT in association with Microsoft has worked out a framework and strategy for the successful adoption of AI for accelerated innovation and growth.


CII launches Artificial Intelligence Forum chaired by IBM's Sandip Patel

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New Delhi: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Friday said it has established a new forum on artificial intelligence chaired by IBM's India/South Asia Managing Director Sandip Patel. The CII AI Forum will focus on building a strong AI ecosystem in India by building awareness at scale and enhancing capabilities by skilling/reskilling workforce for the future, CII said. It will also work with the government in shaping conducive policy and regulatory regime; encourage public-private partnerships in research and development, and facilitate pilot implementation of AI solutions in priority sectors, it added. The sectors that have been prioritised for this year are: banking and financial services industries (BFSI), retail, social (healthcare) and manufacturing (automotive). "As the economy moves into the recovery and revival phase, the transformational potential of responsible AI-driven solutions can be used to fuel India's growth story in a big way. CII AI Forum will look at initiatives to spur local innovations," Patel said.


Infosys launches Artificial Intelligence-driven solution to automate helpdesk operations

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New Delhi: IT services major Infosys on Wednesday announced the launch of its AI-driven'Cognitive Email Workbench' solution that gives enterprises the ability to augment query management and scale their helpdesk operations. Infosys leveraged its partnership with Blue Prism, a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) provider and a strategic partner to develop the solution that promises to significantly enhance productivity and customer satisfaction. Infosys and Blue Prism had joined hands in 2017 to help enterprises drive intelligent automation capabilities across multiple industries. Infosys Cognitive Email Workbench is an AI-based assisted automation solution that allows clients to eliminate manual resolution and build near-touchless contact centres, a statement said. It combines the intelligence of AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP), with Blue Prism's intelligent automation platform and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities.


National AI strategy to benefit the less-privileged: Kant

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NEW DELHI: A proposed national strategy on use of artificial intelligence (AI) applications in business and governance will make sure the less-privileged benefit from the technology rather than being left behind, said Amitabh Kant, CEO of federal policy think tank NITI Aayog. Kant's assurance about keeping the interests of the poor at the heart of the proposed strategy comes amid global concerns about automation taking away less skilled and routine jobs though it enhances efficiency and productivity for businesses. India's proposed national strategy seeks to promote responsible use of artificial intelligence applications so that automated decision-making in business and governance will follow certain ground rules on inclusiveness, non-discrimination and accountability. The strategy being drafted by NITI Aayog in consultation with the industry and experts is expected to include global best practices from models followed in Singapore, the EU and the US. NITI Aayog has sought comments from the industry and experts on a draft strategy document by the end of August before it finalizes it.


Indian Army: Amid LAC face-off, Army to study lasers, robotics & AI for warfare

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NEW DELHI: The Army is now undertaking a major study headed by a senior Lt-General on advanced "niche and disruptive warfare technologies", which range from drone swarms, robotics, lasers and loiter munitions to artificial intelligence, big data analysis and algorithmic warfare. Sources on Friday said the aim of the "holistic study", which comes amidst the ongoing military confrontation in eastern Ladakh with China, is to bolster the conventional war-fighting capabilities of the 13-lakh strong Army as well as prepare for "non-kinetic and non-combat" warfare in the years ahead. China, of course, has been assiduously working to develop futuristic warfare technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI)-powered lethal autonomous weapon systems, towards its overall endeavor to usher in a major "revolution in military affairs (RMA) with Chinese characteristics". Indian Army's new land warfare doctrine in 2018 had stressed the need to sharpen the entire war-fighting strategy, ranging from creation of agile integrated battle groups (IBGs) and expansive cyber-warfare capabilities to induction plans for launch-on-demand micro satellites, directed-energy weapons like lasers, AI, robotics and the like. The new IBGs, after a similar study, have already started to take initial shape as self-contained fighting formations that can mobilize fast and hit hard.


IMD plans to use artificial intelligence in weather forecasting

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NEW DELHI: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is planning to use artificial intelligence in weather forecasting, especially for issuing nowcasts, which can help improve 3-6 hours prediction of extreme weather events, its Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said on Sunday. He said the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is not as prevalent as it is in other fields and it is relatively new in the area of weather forecasting. The IMD has invited research groups who can study how artificial intelligence (AI) be used for improving weather forecasting and the Ministry of Earth Sciences is evaluating their proposals, Mohapatra said. He said the IMD is also planning to do collaborative studies on this with other institutions. The IMD uses different tools like radars, satellite imagery, to issue nowcasts, which gives information on extreme weather events occurring in the next 3-6 hours.