'India Must Develop Sovereign AI Infrastructure, National AI Centre To Leverage Data Wealth': IBM CEO Arvind Krishna
Based on IBM's experience, CEO Krishna suggests that it takes approximately three months of training to equip individuals with the necessary skills for AI deployment.
IBM's Chairman and CEO, Arvind Krishna, emphasised the need for India to develop its own sovereign artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure.
He suggested the establishment of a national AI computing centre, aligning with the global trend of increased investments in computing infrastructure due to rapid technological advancements.
During an interaction with journalists, Krishna highlighted the importance of sovereign capability in AI. He stated that every country should possess the ability to leverage artificial intelligence, including large language models and generative AI.
As per a report, he also mentioned a positive discussion with Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for IT and electronics.
Krishna explained that having sovereign AI capability allows a country to utilise AI for purposes that may not be of interest to the rest of the world or that require protection.
This necessitates the development of computing and data infrastructure, enabling both the government and private companies in India to leverage AI in a unique way.
Contrary to exaggerated claims, Krishna stated that achieving sovereign AI capability does not require exorbitant investments. He expressed confidence that India has the capacity to accomplish this goal with an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars and the the feasibility of India's capabilities.
US and China are among the developed economies that have made significant investments in AI development.
"In many emerging technologies, it often requires the government to take the first step before others follow suit. It would be beneficial for the government to establish a national AI computing center and share certain pools of data, such as in agriculture and health," stated Krishna.
Referring to India's successful space mission, Krishna expressed great enthusiasm for Chandrayaan. He highlighted that India's achievement of landing a rover on the lunar south pole made it the first country in the world to do so.
IBM is optimistic about India's potential for growth. Krishna believes that India is well-positioned to succeed in the field of artificial intelligence, just as it has benefited from the waves of business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT services in the past.
According to Krishna, India has a strong talent pool and a favorable government. The relationship between India and the United States is also thriving. As a result, he expects IBM's business in India to expand and anticipates continued investment in the country.
While he did not provide specific figures for the investment or job creation, he is confident in the growth potential.
Amidst the uncertainty in the macroeconomic landscape, Krishna expresses his optimism regarding the growth of global GDP and technology spending.
Speaking about the impact of AI on jobs, Krishna has previously highlighted the potential of AI to enhance productivity by taking on cognitive tasks.
He also acknowledges the influence of generative AI on employment, with white-collar, back-office positions being the first to experience significant changes.
IBM announced in May that it intends to pause hiring for certain positions due to the potential replacement of up to 7,800 jobs by AI technology. Over the next five years, the company expects 30 per cent of non-customer-facing roles to be automated.
IBM is also utilising AI to handle 90 per cent of routine HR tasks, including employee promotions and assessments.
The current global job market is facing challenges, with a declining working-age population and a shortage of available positions.
However, India stands out as an exception, with over 600 million individuals aged between 18 and 35, and approximately 65 per cent of the population under the age of 65.
India possesses a significant share of the world's AI talent pool, accounting for 16 per cent according to Nasscom's State of Data Science and AI Skills report.
Additionally, the country has one of the largest annual supplies of STEM graduates, with around 2.25 million graduates entering the workforce each year.
Krishna categorises AI skills into two main areas. The first involves inventing AI, which requires several years of development. However, the majority of AI work involves its deployment rather than invention.
Based on IBM's experience, Krishna suggests that it takes approximately three months of training to equip individuals with the necessary skills for AI deployment.
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