A salesman checks a customer’s iPhone at a mobile phone store. Pic: Reuters

Intel India trains over 9,000 AI workers in technology push

INTEL INDIA, one of the country’s most prominent tech firms, recently announced that it had trained 9,500 developers, student and other professionals in various artificial intelligence (AI) practices as part of an effort to push the adoption of the technology in the nation.

In a statement to the Economic Times, Intel India’s sales and marketing group managing director Prakash Mallya expressed his optimism about the semiconductor firm’s AI initiatives.

To accomplish this impressive feat, Intel India collaborated with a total of 90 different firms comprised of 40 academic institutions and 50 other public and private organizations. In an announcement on Monday, Intel India revealed that vastness of its demographic, with the world-renowned hardware maker partnering with multiple e-commerce, defense, healthcare and banking firms over the past six months.


Intel India is one of many companies helping to drive AI capabilities in the country. Source: Shutterstock

 Prakash said the chipmaker was aiming to train as many as 15,000 developers before the end of 2017. Despite the rather ambitious goal, however, Prakash is confident that Intel India would be able to meet expectations, adding that 

India has been pretty obvious with its desire for local businesses and startups to embrace new technologies, including AI. More than half of all companies implementing AI are using it en masse, meaning they’re not just piloting it in their systems, it’s actually running them every single day. As reported by Quartz, this rise in AI adoption has been driven in large part by American firms with innovation centers in India.

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The efforts of companies such as Accenture, Microsoft and Adobe have turned India into a focus point of AI innovation in Asia, despite the huge efforts put in by Chinese firms.

Prakash said to the Business Standard that a focus on talent is key to the widespread adoption of AI.

“The big difference between then and now is that companies were focusing on global markets as well as India to get to scale,” he said.

“[But with] the amount of digitization that is happening now you have a valid and sustainable market within India. We are focusing on talent to make them (the startups) go faster.” 

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In a lot of ways, Intel India’s focus on small businesses and startups does make perfect sense. It is these enterprises, after all, that would benefit from the adoption of the tech industry’s most progressive technologies. With regards to this, Mallya emphasized the reason why Intel India has full confidence in growth opportunities in the country, especially in the healthcare market.

“I look at India with two lenses,” he said to the Standard. “One is the opportunity the developers and the AI talent can serve the country, and there is no better time than now with digital India drives and we can have local ecosystems trained well can address that.”