In an effort to accelerate India’s AI excellence and encourage AI adoption in India, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has announced the second edition of the ‘AI Gamechangers’ awards in association with Microsoft. The 2022 edition of the program with the theme “Realizing India’s AI Promise” will recognize impactful and scalable AI Innovations from grassroot to large enterprises. Microsoft is the ‘Innovation Partner’ for the program.
NASSCOM and Microsoft will work together to develop and promote AI innovation, in the areas of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computer Vision, Cybersecurity, Quantum Computing etc among others. The program will serve as a platform for startups, enterprises, academia, governments, and NGOs to showcase their innovations in AI. In addition to this, the program will also encourage nominations for impactful AI solutions built for social impact.
AI today is pervasive across industries. India has outpaced countries such as Japan, the US, and the UK to become the largest adopter of AI, exacerbated by the pandemic with applications seen in drug discovery, telemedicine, and vaccine development. As per NASSCOM AI patents report 2021, India ranked 4th in terms of AI research papers. Over 5000 AI patents were filed over the last decade in India, among which 94% of them filed in the last 5 years. Data and AI could add $450-500bn to India’s GDP by 2025, representing ~10% of the $5 Tn aspiration pre-COVID-19. Nearly 45% of this value is likely to be delivered by 3 sectors: Consumer goods and Retail, Agriculture and Banking and Insurance.
This year, the program also introduced AI Research awards which will aim to recognize breakthrough innovations in research from Academia and Institutions. The award-winning entries will be featured in the annual AI Gamechangers compendium at NASSCOM’s flagship Xperience AI Summit.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, “Artificial Intelligence is emerging as a strong force for businesses to innovate and transform in the techade. The past couple of years have seen a dramatic acceleration in AI adoption in areas like healthcare, drug discovery, education, drone technology and Natural Language processing. India was ranked 8th in the top 10 countries by AI patent families on a global level, an impressive accomplishment considering India had no AI related patent filing prior to 2002. AI has immense growth potential and achieving it needs scalable partnerships across stakeholders, right set of skills, a strong focus on incentivising R&D, access to data, and regulations to support responsible AI.”
Commenting on the launch of the program, Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India, said, “Data and AI led innovation offers a huge canvas for India to be the tech engine of the world and drive homegrown innovation. AI is transforming every sector and industry and has the potential to solve some of the toughest challenges the world faces today. We have a huge opportunity to make AI work at scale for the country, enabling investment, jobs, and inclusive growth. We are proud to partner with NASSCOM on the AI Gamechangers program to create a strong ecosystem that recognizes and supports AI led innovation in the country.”
Over the last one year, the NASSCOM AI Gamechangers has gathered over 332 applications across industries and sectors including Retail & CPG, BFSI, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Industrial Automotive, Education, Technology, Media and Telecommunications, Energy and Natural Resources, Transport and Logistics, and Travel, Tourism and Hospitality. Nearly 50% of the submissions came from the start-ups, highlighting the innovation quotient of AI implementations across sectors in India.
The entries for this year’s awards will be judged by a distinguished panel of industry leaders and subject matter experts on three primary aspects of problem selection, solution innovation, and impact achieved. The nomination window are open till March 8th, 2022, which will be followed by screening and the final presentations to the Steering Committee and the expert panel.