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However, there are formidable obstacles. AI start-ups already offer some solutions, but the challenge lies in scaling these to cover the entire value chain, as NITI Aayog envisions. The first problem is data. Machine learning, the set of technologies used to create AI, is a data-guzzling monster. It takes reams of historical data as input, identifies the relationships among data elements, and makes predictions. More sophisticated forms of machine learning, like “deep learning”, attempt to mimic the human brain. And even though they promise greater accuracy, they also need more data than what is required by traditional machine learning. Unfortunately, India has sparse data in sectors like agriculture, and this is already hampering AI-based businesses today.
In fact, the lack of data means that deep learning doesn’t work for all companies in India. One example is Climate-Connect, a Delhi-based firm, which uses AI to predict the amount of power a solar plant will generate every 15 minutes. This is critical because solar electricity generation can change dramatically every hour depending on weather conditions and the position of the sun. When this happens, the plant must communicate expected changes to power distributors, which will then switch to alternative sources. With India planning to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022, such AI will play a central role in power planning.
But to generate such data, Climate-Connect needs historical inputs like the time of sunrise and sunset, and cloud cover where the plant is located. Unfortunately, since most Indian solar plants are recent, data are available only for a couple of years, whereas deep learning needs data over many years to predict generation. Today, the firm uses traditional machine learning technologies such as regression analysis that work with less data. These methods have an accuracy of around 95%. While deep learning can boost accuracy for operations such as Climate-Connect, it hasn’t worked very well in the Indian scenario, says Nitin Tanwar, cofounder of the firm.
Another problem for AI firms today is finding the right people. NITI Aayog’s report has bleak news: only about 50 Indian scientists carry out “serious research” and they are concentrated in elite institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Science. Meanwhile, only about 4% of AI professionals have worked in emerging technologies like deep learning. A survey of LinkedIn found 386 out of the 22,000 people with PhDs in AI across the world to be Indians. How does this skill gap impact companies? To some extent, open libraries of machine learning code, which can be customised to solve Indian problems, help. This means that companies need not write code from scratch, and even computer science graduates can carry out the customisation.
As per the passage, which of the following could be a/some reason/s for AI to be full of ‘formidable obstacles’?
I. The need for a huge amount of data to make predictions.
II. The entire chain of operation faces bottlenecks pertaining to funding
III. A scarcity of adequately qualified people in India.
Only I and III
Only II and III
All of the above
Correct answer is (b). Statement II has not been mentioned in the passage and is incorrect.
‘The first problem is data. Machine learning, the set of technologies used to create AI, is a data-guzzling monster.’
‘Another problem for AI firms today is finding the right people.’
Both statements I and III have been stated and are correct.
Hence, option B is correct.
By: Gaurav Rana ProfileResourcesReport error
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