With the aim of accelerating AI excellence in India and driving the adoption of AI in the country, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) today announced the second edition of the “AI Gamechangers” awards in association with Microsoft. The 2022 edition of the program themed “Realizing the Promise of AI in India” will reward impactful and scalable AI innovations from grassroots to large enterprises. Microsoft is the program’s “innovation partner”.
NASSCOM and Microsoft will work together to develop and promote innovation in AI, in the fields of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), natural language processing (NLP), computer vision, cybersecurity, quantum computing, etc. The program will serve as a platform for startups, companies, universities, governments and NGOs to showcase their AI innovations. In addition to this, the program will also encourage nominations for impactful AI solutions designed for social impact.
Today, AI is ubiquitous in all industries. India has overtaken countries like Japan, US and UK to become the biggest AI adopter, exacerbated by the pandemic with applications seen in drug discovery, telemedicine and development of vaccines. According to the 2021 NASSCOM AI Patent Report, India ranked 4th in terms of AI research papers. Over 5000 AI patents have been filed in the last decade in India with 94% of them filed in the last 5 years. Data and AI could add $450-500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, which is around 10% of the pre-COVID-19 $5 billion aspiration. Nearly 45% of this value should be delivered by 3 sectors: Consumer Goods and Retail, Agriculture and Banking and Insurance.
This year, the program has also introduced AI research prizes that will aim to reward breakthrough innovations in research from universities and institutions. Winning entries will be featured in the annual AI Gamechangers Compendium at NASSCOM’s flagship Xperience AI Summit.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Debjani Ghosh, President of NASSCOM, said: “Artificial intelligence is becoming a powerful force enabling businesses to innovate and transform in technology. The past two years have seen a dramatic acceleration in the adoption of AI in areas such as healthcare, drug discovery, education, drone technology and natural language processing. India was ranked 8th among the top 10 countries by AI patent families globally, an impressive achievement considering that India had no AI-related patent filings before 2002. AI has immense potential for growth and its realization requires scalable partnerships between stakeholders, the right skill set, a strong focus on incentivizing R&D, access to data and regulation to support responsible AI.
Commenting on the launch of the program, Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, Country Head of Technology, Microsoft India said, “Data and AI-driven innovation offers a huge canvas for India to be the technology engine of the world. and stimulate local innovation. AI is transforming every sector and industry and has the potential to solve some of the toughest challenges facing the world today. We have a huge opportunity to make AI work at scale for the country, driving investment, jobs and inclusive growth. We are proud to partner with NASSCOM through the AI Gamechangers program to create a strong ecosystem that recognizes and supports AI-led innovation in the country.
Over the past year, the NASSCOM AI Gamechangers have collected over 332 applications across industries and sectors including Retail & CPG, BFSI, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Agriculture, automotive manufacturing and industry, education, technology, media and telecommunications, energy and natural resources. , Transport and Logistics, and Travel, Tourism and Hospitality. Nearly 50% of submissions were from start-ups, highlighting the innovation quotient of AI implementations across all industries in India.
Entries for this year’s awards will be judged by a distinguished panel of industry leaders and subject matter experts on three main aspects of problem selection, solution innovation and impact achieved. The nomination window is open until March 8, 2022, which will be followed by a selection and final presentations to the steering committee and the expert panel.
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