Redmond-based technology major Microsoft has an ambitious mandate to train, skill and develop 500,000 youth across India in the next three years. To this end, the company will set up artificial intelligence (AI) labs in 10 universities and will also upskill over 10,000 developers.
Commenting on bridging the skills gap and enhancing employability, Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India, said, ``Development of talent pipeline is vital for economic growth and we are working to empower individuals across all demographics with the skills needed to succeed in an AI enabled world.’’
Microsoft has recently announced the Intelligent Cloud Hub Program to equip research and higher education institutions with AI infrastructure, build curriculum and help both faculty and students to build their skills and expertise in cloud computing, data sciences, AI and IoT.
“The next wave of innovation for India is being driven by the tech intensity of companies–how you combine rapid adoption of cutting edge tech with your company's own distinctive tech and business capabilities,’’ said Maheshwari in an interaction.
Elaborating on Microsoft’s vision to democratise AI to fuel economic and social growth in India---an initiative taken as part of its mandate to empower every organisation and individual---Maheshwari said the company was working with stakeholders across public and private sectors, civil society and academia in the country to create the right conditions for human-centered AI.
Maheshwari said, “We believe AI will enable Indian businesses and more for India's progress, especially in education, skilling, healthcare and agriculture. We also believe that it is imperative to build higher awareness and capabilities on security, privacy, trust and accountability. The power of AI is just beginning to be realised and can be a game-changer for India.”
As part of Microsoft’s AI strategy for India, the company is committed to use its cloud and AI technologies to create breakthrough innovations and accelerate the digital transformation of the nation, focusing on core industries that are critical to economic growth, he said.
For instance, over 700 business and government organisations have adopted Microsoft’s AI solutions to drive breakthroughs in their digital transformation. Over 60 per cent of these customers come from large businesses in manufacturing, financial services. The company is also working with new-age organisations that are leapfrogging and disrupting industries. Some 715 partners are working with Microsoft in India to help customers design and implement a comprehensive AI strategy, aimed to boost employee productivity, increase business agility, improve customer engagement and jumpstart new product innovation.
To build coalition for responsible innovation, Microsoft has entered into a partnership with NITI Aayog to combine the cloud, AI, research and its vertical expertise for new initiatives and solutions across several core areas including agriculture and healthcare and the environment. The company is also working with the CII in looking at building solution frameworks for application in AI across areas such as Education, skills, health and agriculture.