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Fusion of AI & AR will be key to creating a sustainable future: Sindhu Ramachandran

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Enterprises across the globe are leveraging emerging technologies to digitalise and transform their operations. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the key emerging technologies that is shaping the Industry 4.0 era. In addition, technocrats today are also exploring emotion-driven AI solutions that could aid big time to improve customer experience and more. Sindhu Ramachandran, Director – Technology, Leader of Center of Excellence (CoE) – Artificial Intelligence, Quest Global shared her vantage points on the future of AI in an exclusive interview with Express Computer. 

Why do women in AI and tech space require guidance?  

Statistical reports claim that only 20 percent of women account for the workforce in AI. Therefore, increasing the representation of women in these roles requires not only recruiting efforts but also building an inclusive culture and improving access to growth opportunities. Additionally, women are more likely than men to leave the profession mid-career due to family and other unforeseen commitments. Hence, it is imperative to challenge orthodoxies and inspire growth and change by implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies and mentorship opportunities and tracking sustained progress.

What does the current landscape look like for women and what are the potential opportunities?

There are immense opportunities for the right talent as AI is becoming increasingly mainstream across industries. It has also become more integrated into our daily routine and has helped improve the quality of our lives. We’re experiencing life-changing advancements starting from voice assistants to facial recognition in numerous aspects of both our professional and personal lives.

However, technology is constantly evolving. Therefore, it is imperative to include AI in the STEM curriculum so that acquiring AI skillsets can start at the beginner level. In terms of career opportunities, it ranges from data scientists and data engineers and includes new-age professions such as machine learning engineers and machine learning architects among others. 

There are global communities for women in AI where participating in meetups can help them learn more as well as provide better networking opportunities. So, there are a plethora of potential opportunities available now.

What is the importance of AI to plot a route in career paths in industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 has led to the shift towards the paradigm of smart manufacturing and manufacturing operations and processes have progressively started moving towards digitalisation. AI technologies such as natural language processing, machine learning, and deep learning, can be used to incorporate data analysis capabilities into applications across various industries. As a strategic innovation tool, AI also enhances the competitiveness of organisations which has resulted in organisations expecting employees to pick up new skills on the job now. Investing in the right people and the right skillsets today will definitely pave for a better position in the future. Reskilling, upskilling, and cross-skilling of employees in the areas of pervasive technologies like AI are happening now.

What are the next big AI solutions we can expect in 2023? What is the future of AI in Industry 4.0?

Artificial Intelligence as a technology is constantly evolving. While we continue to learn and discover new aspects of this technology, the Adaptive AI solutions that ensure model reliability, trustworthiness, security and data protection, and generative AI is going to play a key role in the coming times. Moreover, in Industry 4.0, it is not one solution that is going to be dominant but their combined force. The fusion of AI and AR solutions is going to play a key role in creating a sustainable future.

What are your thoughts on emotion-driven AI solutions?

Emotion-driven AI solutions are useful in understanding customer sentiments and help in the recruitment process. Additionally, in the field of healthcare, it can also help in the detection of some diseases at the early stages. Other areas include in-vehicle personalisation, retail, connected home, education, employee safety, etc. But we need to carefully handle the adoption of these solutions. There could be certain trust issues around emotion-driven AI technologies; for example, users may feel less comfortable when images are captured using a camera for emotion analysis compared to voice analysis.

How is Quest Global as an organisation driving innovation internally?

At Quest Global, our focus is not just to attract the right talent but also to ensure their constant upskilling and reskilling. We have a technology excellence group focusing on innovation. We organise hackathons, innovation challenges, and projects for engineers which makes us stay ahead of the curve. We also have innovation labs for projects in emerging technologies that give our people the edge over the rest and enable us to effectively service our customers.

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