ALSO READIndia can be a world leader in cognitive computing: IBM CEO IBM CEO Virginia Rometty to push digital technologies during India visit next month IBM deploys first cognitive computing tech in India IBM sets up data centre in Chennai, ties-up with Nasscom for start-up promotion Amazon plans to start cloud services in India
Virginia Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive of US information technology giant IBM, said India had the potential to grow at 10 per cent annually for the next two years.
This century could, she felt, be India's. Speaking at IBM’s flagship customer event, ‘Think Forum’, she spoke at length about IBM’s cognitive cloud computing system, Watson, and how it had the potential to transform companies across the board. Watson is an artificially developed intelligence that works in natural languages. Currently, it is being applied in 36 countries and at a little more than 5,000 companies in the world.
“Watson will not replace us but assist us. This cognitive system is human plus machine,” she said. Asked how the system could benefit India, she said Watson can provide technical support, reduce the time to solve problems and offer a platform for the growing start-up system, among other things.
During the session, Martin Jetter, senior vice-president at IBM, got into a conversation with Himanshu Kapania, managing director, Idea Cellular. In the past eight years, said Kapania, theiy had grown at a fast pace and one of the factors was a cognitive system. “Analytics is one of the important parts of the growth,” he said. With its help, Idea went for consumer segmentation, which assisted the company in identifying various factors that drive the traffic.
Adding: “It is time to move from a static form of data to real time usage of data.” Also, he said, 200 million people (in India) were privileged and knowledgeable, aware of the power of data and analytics, but another 900 mn were still grappling for basic amenities. “If digital has to be successful, we need to reach out to that population.”
One of the key challenges to artificial intelligence is addressing the issue of privacy and security. Rometty said they were working with different governments to address this. “The largest issue with security is that it comes from within...it is internal. Hence, it’s important to strike a balance between innovation and security,” she said.
Stressing upon the need to go cognitive, she told business executives, “The world will embrace cognitive. There is no chance to keep up with the enormous information out there without the help of cognitive. Competition gets reset.”
Also: “India is one of the great spots compared to the rest of the world. With entrepreneurship growing, this is a great time to start.”