Future of Work Summit 2020

A post-pandemic world is the new reference to the era that we all are living in. The things of the past are being replaced at an accelerated pace. The future of work is here, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is integral to its essence.

The Future of Work Summit, which showcased our recent research on AI, was jointly hosted by Srini Raju Centre for IT & the Networked Economy (SRITNE) & Intel India as part of Intel’s all.ai 2020 Summit, a virtual four-day conference in collaboration with the Govt. of India, Govt. of Telangana and IIIT-Hyderabad. The summit was uniquely positioned to leverage AI by revolutionizing policy to measuring impact.

The session commenced with an introductory keynote by Jeffrey Rittener, Chief of Government Affairs, Intel Corporation. He elaborated on the role of government in making AI work at population scale.

Following his talk, Professor Rajendra Srivastava, Dean and Novartis Professor of Marketing Strategy and Innovation, ISB spoke about the role of scientific and academic research in advancing our understanding of AI/ML to build the workforce of the future, driving policy change and improving opportunity for all. “If data is the new oil, AI/ML is the new internal combustion engine.”, said Professor Rajendra Srivastava on whether AI is essential to the Future of Work.

Dean Raj

The session was followed by a state-level perspective by Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) Departments, Government of Telangana. “Telangana State (TS) has a clear policy and a dedicated body with the best talent to convert policy into action,” he said. He also reiterated that TS has announced 2020 as the year of AI, and the pandemic has put the health sector ahead of others to use new technologies.

Jayesh Ranjan

As the evening progressed with diverse perspectives flowing in from industry, academia and state-government, the stage was set to bring a more broader perspective for unlocking India’s potential using AI and understanding the initiatives of the central government to achieve this potential. Dr. K. V. Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India spoke about deployment of AI in the financial sector. According to him, banks, including private ones, are using these analytical models primarily in the context of retail lending and have not used much in corporate lending. “So, the Indian banking sector can really benefit from implementing AI/ML especially in the context of corporate lending … and evidence shows that when the better models are employed, banks that employ such models are able to grow their balance-sheets in a very robust manner without suffering quality issues. This is a very important opportunity,” he said.

Dr. K. V Subramanian

Dr. Subramanian also mentioned that the use of these emerging technologies in the agriculture sector can enable better crop choice and crop diversification which are some of the key issues that exist in the country.

The event was also graced by the presence of Hon’ble Shri Dr. Ashwathnarayan C. N., Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka. He spoke about the application of AI in the state of Karnataka, and its successful implementation in healthcare in response to the pandemic.

In the concluding session of the Future of Work Summit, SRITNE-ISB and Intel launched the report titled, ‘The Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the Indian Labor Market.’ Commissioned by Intel India and conducted by the Srini Raju Centre for Information Technology and the Networked Economy (SRITNE) at ISB, the study assesses the size and scope of the impact of AI on businesses, including shifts in the quantum and nature of employment and human capital development. The findings of the report are based on two surveys:

  • A: Suitability of Machine Learning (SML) Survey among 3,099 employees across 106 Indian occupations designed to measure the suitability for machine learning for each occupation
  • B: AI and Future of Work Survey of 301 firms across Indian sectors that have adopted AI/machine learning (ML) in their workflows

Next, Professor Deepa Mani invited Dr. Ashwathnarayan C. N., Dr. K. V. Subramanian and Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India, to release the report which is available to download here. She thanked the invitees and continued to highlight the key findings of the report.

“Technological advances in recent years have ushered machines into the workplace and yielded significant growth in new forms of work. The pandemic has only accelerated this growth, thereby rendering these work forms systematic and pervasive. It is, therefore, important for policymakers and organizations to develop an acute understanding of this future of work as they frame policies for work and workers.”, said Professor Deepa Mani while elaborating on the studies that constitute the report.

She also indicated that further research may emerge from these studies and emphasized on the centre’s vision to develop a barometer as a credible source for all things related to AI as it continues to evolve as a technology.

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