Did you know that in terms of highest AI penetration India is ranked third, behind only the US and China. A recently released LinkedIn report suggested that while AI driven technologies may still be in their infancy, the global labour markets are already gearing up for the upcoming change. The report highlights the fact that industries with AI skilled work forces are the fastest growing industries.
While true AI systems may not exist at the moment, machines are getting smarter every day and the advancement in big data and machine learning have given us access to tremendous computing power. Small and medium enterprise owners can use these resources to aggregate their performance. So, that leaves us with the question, ‘Where do we shall stand in terms of individual professional growth in a few years from now?
Another job market study predicts that 46% of the current and future workforce will be engaged in entirely new jobs by 2022. Either these jobs do not exist today or the skill-set requirements for existing jobs will see a radical shift by then. However,since these studies are limited in their scope, the implications may not be as extreme as the percentage figure above quotes. Yet there is no denying that AI skills are a highly-valued commodity in the job market at present. For instance, AI skills have witnessed a 190% growth between 2015 and 2017.
Startups are driving the AI Growth
Startups today are utilizing AI projects for offering better products and services. It is partly due to smaller team sizes and agile client requirements as well as the absence of defined/standardised protocols for AI workflows. However, with each passing day the industry big wigs are adding volumes of data to their memory banks and streamlining their AI processes. So, it won’t be long before we see a tectonic shift in the way AI enabled environments function.
Limitation of current AI implementations
Even in industries where AI implementation can offer marked gains over current systems are allocating resources carefully into the technology because of the financial implications. It is universally understood that large scale AI implementation may not lead to tangible returns in the short-term.
While the software industry is among the fastest growing in terms of professionals with AI skills, there Is unprecedented growth in the manufacturing, healthcare, education and transport segment as well. It is important to note that universal implementation has a roadblock called Natural Language Processing. Furthermore, regional NLP can be an even bigger stumbling block when it comes to implementation of widescale AI systems in countries like India and China. Work is being done in this direction too. For example, the HDFC Bank chatbot called ‘OnChat’ has been hugely successful in conversing with customers using a mix of Hindi and English, handling over 20,000 interactions per day.
Where do we stand in terms of professional growth?
A large number of companies operating in the top-tiered AI ecosystems are planning on near term AI implementation. As per statistics from LinkedIn and other job sites, the searches for AI enabled jobs by job seekers have gone up by 179% after mid 2016. The employer demand for AI skilled workers has been twice the supply in the job market.
Government of India has set up a fund under Atal Innovation Mission to drive Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things. 3D Printing and Blockchain implementations in the country. The NITI Aayog’s Roadmap for National Artificial Intelligence Programmer now has an allocated budget of ₹ 3,073 crore which only highlights the seriousness of the government in keeping up with global trends.
Having said this, it is but obvious that there has been a proportionate increase in the number of people applying for AI training courses. AICTE, the government body which is responsible for governance and regulation of professional education in India, has recently added AI, IoT, Machine Learning and related fields as mandatory subjects in the curriculum for Bachelor of Technology programmes. Many education institutes are already offering limited time Certificate courses on Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning for working executives, data analysts, developers and fresh graduates to orient them towards the changing path of career progression.
How can you gain AI Skills?
There is a rise in courses which offer data and programming skills that are complementary to AI systems application. With premier distance learning and e-learning institutes like IMT, Ghaziabad offering certified training courses in the field, if can be fairly easy for you to acquire AI skills while working in your current capacity.
The developing nature of Indian economy means there are unresolved issues like poverty, education and healthcare which the country needs to figure out. However, over the last two decades India has been a major IT player. It is certain that AI technologies are here to stay. So, whether you are an employer or a job seeker – the best thing you can do right now is gain an AI enabled competitive advantage while it is ripe for the taking.