American Chamber of Commerce in India
Apex Chamber of US Industry in India

Interactive Session on How Artificial Intelligence Will Push Business Further– 24 September 2018

AMCHAM’s Eastern Region organized an interactive session on ‘How Artificial Intelligence Will Push Business Further’ at the Hyatt Regency, Kolkata on September 24th, 2018. The panelists included Professor Sudeshna Sarkar, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence, IIT Khargapur, Mr. Arnab Basu, Partner, PwC, leading the Technology Consulting Practice for PwC in India and part of PwC Global Technology Leadership team, and Ms. Namrata Dubashi, Partner McKinsey & Company, who leads the Eastern Region operations. Mr. Debdas Sen, Chairman – Eastern Region, AMCHAM and CEO, TCG Digital Solutions, moderated the session. Ms. Amada Kidwai, Regional Director – Eastern Region, AMCHAM, made introductions, Mr. Surajit Banerjee, a former Chairman and Eastern Region Executive Committee member gave welcome remarks and Ms. Birgit Holms, Eastern Region Executive Committee member gave concluding remarks.

The panellists briefly covered the history of artificial intelligence, a term which was coined as early as 1956, and spoke about AI’s popularity thanks to increased data volumes, advanced algorithms and improvements in computing power and storage. They spoke about early work which paved the way for automation and formal reasoning that we see in computers today, including decision support systems and smart search systems that can be designed to complement and augment human abilities.

As one of the most popular technologies, AI has a growing impact on companies of all sizes. They spoke about the influence and applications of artificial intelligence in healthcare, mobility, and financial services. They spoke about companies advancing this technology into products used on a daily basis. Just in its nascent stage, AI is yet to showcase its most exceptional applications in the product and service industry. They touched upon how AI has recolonized the healthcare industry and is one of the most promising technologies in the sector. They touched upon AI in mobility mentioning that Uber has already invested in assisted driving and is currently testing autonomous cars, which is an exceptional side of AI.

They discussed how AI is growing, and service-sector companies, as well as their industrial counterparts, will move to integrate this technology into their mechanisms. The future for companies working with AI assistance is going to be a bright one. While some felt that AI would affect how humans reacted to making quick and difficult decisions which would, in turn, diminish their gut feeling in the decision-making process, the general consensus was that AI is not here to replace us, as it augments our abilities and makes us better at what we do. Because AI algorithms learn differently than humans, they look at things differently. They can see relationships and patterns that escape us. This human/AI partnership offers many opportunities. It can bring analytics to industries and domains where it is currently underutilized. It also means that humans have to keep upscaling their skills. As one panelist said, there would not be any end to learning!



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