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India Inc sees AI impact to be larger than internet, yet only 3% firms have systems to identify risks

Sandeep Soni

Despite being aware of the impact of deep technology applications such as artificial intelligence (AI) in business, it is perhaps worrying that a huge chunk of Indian organisations is yet to have formal structure and tools to identify and access risks and flaws associated with AI. While 69 per cent and 86 per cent CEO of Indian companies believed that AI will have larger impact than internet on the world and that it will change the way business is done in five years respectively, nearly 83 per cent have no formal approach to identify AI risks nor do they have the tools to access security risks in AI systems, revealed a survey of global CEOs by PwC with respect to AI adoption, performance, and risks in their organisations.

In fact, only 3 per cent of respondents said that they have a standardised framework or a fully automated system to figure out different AI-related risks and their severity, according to the survey conducted between May and September 2019 getting nearly 1,000 responses from CXOs and decision-makers from India and the world. Nonetheless, 62 per cent of Indian respondents said that they have implemented AI in some form in their businesses. Also, a staggering 81 per cent of respondents from India said that they are not confident of detecting and shutting down a malfunctioned AI system compared to 65 per cent of global respondents. Moreover, 67 per cent of Indian firms’ CEOs claimed a lack of understanding of data privacy requirements, processes, and tools.

Also read: SMEs' next big frontier: How AI can help deliver personalised, customised customer experience

While AI adoption is good but that won't give desired results, according to PwC India Sudipta Ghosh who leads data and analytics. AI has to be supported by "performance pillars addressing bias and fairness, interpretability and explainability, robustness and security," he added.

AI and other new-age technologies including machine learning, big data, etc, have already been a part of everyday life from quite some years now that seeks to improve the experience of customers in the way they transact with businesses globally based on the data generated by customers and insights extracted by businesses from it. Some of the biggest use cases of AI today includes virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant etc; ride fare and estimated arrival time and route to be taken are figured out by AI for companies such as Uber, Ola, Lyft etc., then there is the entire social media defining your timeline, what to display etc. and much more across industries.

Lack of understanding of how AI applications make decisions and lack of usable data were the top two reasons inhibiting 58% and 45% Indian companies respectively from adopting AI. Also, making AI-related investments was part of only 7 per cent of Indian firms' business strategies. Interestingly, only 10% of Indian CEOs were confident about the reliability of their AI applications.