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Only 10% of Indian CEOs confident about reliability of AI applications: PwC

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Only 10 per cent of Indian CEOs are confident about the reliability of their artificial intelligence (AI) applications, according to PwC India. Even as AI has the potential to solve complex problems effectively at scale, badly designed applications can cause more harm than good, PwC India said in its report based on a comprehensive study conducted with over 1,000 CXOs and business decision makers from India and other regions, between May and September 2019.

The intent of the study was to understand the outlook towards AI in India. Findings of the report strongly indicate the need to invest in building AI systems that are responsible, understandable and ethical, ensuring customer trust.

AI can be defined as a collection of technologies which are capable of sensing, thinking and acting like rational human beings.

The respondents spanned across industries such as technology, media and telecom, financial services, professional services, health, industrial products, consumer markets, government, and utilities, said PwC India.

“An overwhelming majority of decision makers globally as well as from India confessed that they may not have robust tools or processes for ensuring reliability of their AI solutions. Interestingly, only 10 per cent of Indian respondents were confident about the reliability of their AI applications,” it said.

Deepankar Sanwalka, Leader- Advisory at PwC India, said that it is encouraging to see Indian organisations adopt or willing to adopt AI significantly in the coming few years.

However, to scale AI initiatives, organisations will have to ensure these solutions are ethically sound, compliant with all regulations, with a robust governance framework, he said. The report further said “it is heartening” to note that India (62 per cent) is not very far behind global (65 per cent) in terms of implementation of AI.

However, the worrying part is that Indian respondents (53 per cent) significantly outnumber their global counterparts (36 per cent) in admitting that they have no formal approach to identify AI risks, it said.

Sudipta Ghosh, Leader- Data and Analytics, PwC India added that merely adopting AI will not yield desired results. AI must be supported by strong performance pillars addressing bias and fairness, interpretability and explainability, robustness and security, he said.

“Else, the enthusiasm to implement AI projects is very likely to run into headwinds. Benefits of AI may be realised when an appropriate governance framework and dimensions are in place, and humans and machines can collaborate effectively,” Ghosh said.

The study, PwC India said reiterates the need for a comprehensive Responsible AI (RAI) framework and toolkit for its widespread adoption. It also highlights how AI’s potential can be unlocked as well as maximised if a structured approach is taken towards addressing the associated risks.

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