Machine Learning! Are Companies in India Ready for It?

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From waking up to Alexa’s news updates to relaxing at the end of the day with Netflix, AI has insidiously become a part of our everyday world. However, is the impact of AI in India business sector matching up with the rest of the world? In a recent survey, just 18% of companies in India said that they have a clear strategy in place to ensure AI provides them the benefits they need.

Challenges Indian businesses face

  • Many businesses are not data ready. Data access, employee data literacy programs and data governance must first be addressed
  • Organizations are facing a skill gap. Businesses find it a struggle to hire skilled AI professionals to lead AI projects as well as train non-technical staff on data-driven models.

There are many areas where AI can provide business impact. While start-ups and tech companies have modernisation as an inherent requirement, this is not the case for many large organisations. Adoption of AI has to be a top down approach and many CEOs and COOs are comfortable with the traditional infrastructure. Only 6% of these organisations that have integrated artificial intelligence into business operations actually rely on it as their primary source for making decisions.

It is not that decisions are being made without data, connected devices are collecting rich data. IT departments are reducing the massive volumes of data to manageable summaries that are then processed by humans through dashboards or even spreadsheets. Human judgement still remains the decision maker, even if data has been digitalized.

When data is summarized by humans there can be cognitive biases. As humans, we can get data aggregated into segments that reflect archetypes. For example, we may use attributes such as geography even though there might not be any difference in behaviour of consumers in different locations. Summaries anyway are rough approximations of data that have the tendency to fit broad stereotypes. This is why forward-thinking companies realise the need to b