Microsoft India

AI not to take away jobs, but people need to re-skill themselves!

What are the skills needed in society today, and how can we match the people with those skills?

Eighfold.ai India has launched its Center of Excellence and Innovation in Noida, India. Since inception in 2016, Eightfold has seen tremendous growth. It has so far raised $55 million, and has over 100 customers across 20+ countries. Realizing the fact that India has a chance to become the knowledge hub in the future, the Center of Excellence and Innovation was established.

Ashutosh Garg, CEO and co-founder, eightfold.ai, said: “We are trying to re-skill India. We need to re-skill the society. There is an imperative for change. Everyone is scared of AI. Is AI going to be easy to adapt? AI unlocks all the relevant career paths. Career is the most important thing in our lives. We re-skill people based on their potential. We are also looking at people who are into data science. AI can help us overcome all the biases. We are also working with the Norwegian government to help people with disabilities to get back to jobs that match their capabilities.

“India will have half of the world’s millennials by 2022. That is, half of the entire world. The challenge is: how do they think about their future jobs? We will help everyone to realize their potential. We are also striving to make India the knowledge hub of the world. We want to ensure that India is leading the charge in this area.”

Nisha-Biswal, USIBC

Nisha-Biswal, USIBC

Nisha Biswal, president, U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), added: I’ve known Kamal Ahluwalia (president of Eightfold) for the last 30 years. In America, today, there are conversations around talent management. People are not really optimized for the jobs that they can do. How do you manage talent? How do you create job mobility? What are the skills needed in society today, and how can we match the people with those skills?

“It is important to have the relevant skills to do the necessary jobs. You need a massive capability to understand the data, and match it with the available and the future jobs. How do we use data provided by Eightfold.ai to match jobs, and stay relevant? How can it allow us to optimize and maximize talent that’s available?”

Amarendra Sharan at Eightfold.ai launch.

Amarendra Sharan

Amarendra Sharan, former Solicitor-General, remarked that there is a shortage of skills here, in India, as we have not worked on creating mega institutions. The time has come to build large capacities of talent.

He said: “The Indian government will have to take steps to meet the massive needs of the society. Creating a knowledge hub is the real answer. To provide benefits of civilization to all, we have to go for serious re-skilling. We should also be in a position to increase the infrastructure and talent. There is now the need for new thinking. Excellence is a habit.”

Anil Srivastava, Prinicipal Advisor, Niti Aayog, commented: “AI is very relevant in the Indian context. There is so much potential for technologies in this country. It is a golden opportunity for India to leapfrog the various technologies. We should also stop looking at the developed countries, and start doing things on our own. At Niti Aayog, we have done some work on AI and blockchain, etc. How can we use these technologies to bring about a remarkable change in the Indian context? There is tremendous scope that we have to proceed in the application of technologies.”

Prof. Sanjeev Sanghi, Dean, Alumni Affairs, IIT Delhi, noted that excellence is a habit at IIT Delhi. He said: “A practical application is very useful, where we can transform the way to hire and manage talent. There are opportunities that can be developed by contacting IITs across all of the 23 centers.”

Ashish Mediratta, Senior Director, Talent Acquisition, Tata Communications, elaborated: “We have deployed AI across the value chain to develop new talent. We talk about diversity. Our target is to have at least 35 percent women to be part of the workforce. Diversity is doing very well for us. As for AI and re-skilling, you need to go through several resumes. The algorithm is doing a calibration between profiles and the usage. AI will not take away jobs! It can be a great value add for hiring great talent. Every five years, people need to re-skill themselves. How fast can we bridge the gap in re-skilling? AI is the way forward.”

Sandesh Goel, MD, Eightfold.ai, closed the discussion, adding: “We are very proud to move forward. Eightfold.ai comes from the Buddisht path of eight-fold path to nirvana. Eighfold will shape our path.” Ashutosh Garg noted that so far, we have not been contributing enough to the society. We want to be a think tank to the world. Pankaj Mathur, head of Engineering, was also present at the event.

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