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AI Research Footprint in India

23 October 2020

For the past few years, a data revolution of epic proportions has changed the way businesses think and function. Recommendation Insights and Foreseeing Demand from large data sets are some of the trends featuring in the world market. PM Modi remarks on a recently concluded RAISE 2020 summit declared India as a potential for “rising power in the field of Artificial Intelligence”, for creating a robust AI infrastructure and roadmap in the world.

AI research is expensive and requires a lot of investment in building cutting-edge processors and research facilities. Although Indian AI market for start-ups attracted $762.5 million in 2019 as per reports, Globally, India is far behind in AI adoption. India has just two of supercomputers out of 500 best supercomputers in the world (226 of which are in China, and 113 in the US). Therefore, govt with its AIRAWAT initiative is planning to build a series of supercomputers, modelled after the Summit and ABCI facilities in the US and Japan, respectively. 

One can best explain the lag in the entire AI’s research and development ecosystem;  with some of these mentioned critical factors. 

The most significant number of AI patent applications are filed in the regions of the US and China, followed by Japan. In 2019, the top 10 countries accounted for 97 per cent of all AI patent filings and the top four (consisting of China, Japan, Republic of Korea and the US) together account for 86 per cent of all global filings. India stands at the tenth spot, which is dominated by the major economies in the world.

Analysts predict that AI can help add up to ~$1 trillion to the Indian economy by 2035. And by 2025, data and AI can add over $500 billion and almost 20 million jobs to the Indian economy. These opportunities will unlock the primary three sectors, i.e. consumer goods and retail bringing in around $90-95 billion, banking and insurance and agriculture contributing $60-$65 billion each. 

Actually, when India solves using AI for people of India (Aadhaar, UPI, GST, public finance management system and digi infra), it is not solving for 1.4 billion people of India but for the next 7 billion people of the world who are moving from poverty to middle class” Amitabh Kant at RAISE 2020 summit.

India’s resolve to successfully leverage AI to solve various developmental challenges will not just transform the lives but also the market, which for the year 2021 AI predicted at $6.8 Bn (6.6% growth rate). From 2021 to 2025, the CAGR for the entire AI market to grow at 13.8%. However, the pace of growth for the period 2020-2021 will be slower than the average rate of growth for the period 2021-2025. This slower growth for the upcoming year is because of the recessionary and stalled effects caused by the unfortunate timing of the pandemic. AI could play a significant role in not just COVID-19 response but also faster recovery of the ailing economy, by supporting social and equitable growth.

Contributor Prateek Bebortha Business Analyst ETgarage

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