AI is the future: Hasit Trivedi, CTO, Tech Mahindra

Hasit Trivedi, CTO Digital Technologies & Global Head — AI, Tech Mahindra explains how Artificial Intelligence will reshape the future, what technologies Tech Mahindra is using right now, and more.

We are on the verge of a watershed moment in our species’ history, one in which a product of our own ingenuity has the potential to change everything. Some see it as humanity’s salvation, while others see it as our undoing. The age of artificial intelligence has arrived (AI).

While AI is still a long way from the sentient machines depicted in science fiction, developing algorithms that can learn, understand language, and mimic some aspects of the human mind has resulted in tremendous progress. Today, artificial intelligence is used in hundreds of different industries.

To understand how AI is reshaping the future, we spoke to Hasit Trivedi, CTO Digital Technologies & Global Head — AI, Tech Mahindra. Here’s what he has to say!

1. How is AI reshaping the future of technology?
The first time we had a technology that could see like humans, listen like humans, speak like humans, and read like them, we never had a technology that could do this, but it could never recognise. We had an audio recorder that used to listen but couldn’t understand. We have various gadgets that can capture each of these data like audio and picture, but it could not recognise them. Technology has made everything human-like, providing a unique opportunity to maximise potential.

For example, it was humanly impossible to count the number of vehicles at traffic signals. Still, with AI and smart camera technology, now we can eventually calculate and count the vehicles at a traffic signal.

Similarly, other factors can be seen in the agriculture field. Suppose you want to figure out the chlorophyll deficiency of each plant in a 1000 plants field. In that case, it is a mammoth and herculean task and a highly skilled job for somebody to physically go record the progress and the colour of the leaves, trying to figure out if the amount of chlorophyll is sufficient or not sufficient. Now, with technology like drones, you can capture the camera images and apply AI to determine whether the colour content is sufficient. From a COVID perspective, we will get certain medicines that will repurpose. All medical science based on clinical trial data and new medication discoveries is made possible by AI.

The AI-led bot will work 24*7 without getting infected using COVID. So, aside from the typical AI capabilities that will be used by consumers and enterprises to enhance their operations, we no longer need to be a CXO to employ a digital assistant. Today, the assistants are given only to the CXO-level leaders. You have a secretary or executive assistant, but with the digital assistant, each human being can have their own assistant. That is the power of technology; it just amplifies human potential.

2. How has the recent covid boom influenced technology adoption?
I believe you, I, and the rest of the world can all work from home now, despite two years of various kinds of lockdown across the globe of various nature, we could order our groceries from wherever it was applicable. We could entertain ourselves. This clearly indicates that the world has adopted technology very fast. And it was always adoptive, but acceleration was unprecedented in the last two years, and thus, we all could work smoothly.

Today, we can interact on platforms like Zoom, and in the future, we’ll be able to do so in Metaverse, where you’ll be able to build your own avatar and perhaps even see a hologram of yourself. Each of these technologies will significantly emerge, do the same extension of the COVID or recent pandemic thing, it will just accelerate and some of the things we’ll see surely.

From the viewpoint of the customer, actions were taken as a result of business continuity considerations, such as cloud adoption because you wanted to have access to data anywhere. Since people began focusing on cybersecurity and other related issues, cloud computing has become more popular. Due to the fact that people are becoming infected and a lot of human effort has been needlessly caused by this, there has been a significant increase in investment in cybersecurity. Digital bots came into the picture. The company invested in adopting robotic process automation or conversation a chatbot or whiteboard, thus creating an ecosystem where humans can work with the digital workforce. So, these are some key investment areas where companies have invested heavily. At the same time, those who never had a presence on the web or mobile channels, eCommerce, and mobile commerce have also invested in this technology.

Many of these digital adoption accelerations have happened in the context of the business continuity aspect. It is not irreversible because businesses saw the benefit of this technology in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and experience. While the objective was business continuity, as a byproduct, efficiency, effectiveness, and experience got measured, which was always difficult to quantify in a typical consulting engagement and the industry was struggling to define ROI for some of this technology. I think it is it has done a fantastic job, and I think the right thing for the industry because technology has always improved the efficiency of mankind, which has created more jobs, which has created a better product, and it has provided a better experience to the end-users.

3. Apart from AI, what are the most popular technologies that Tech Mahindra is right now using or building products?
There are two kinds of products and platforms in which we are investing in. We have Comviva as a subsidiary which itself is a product company, and within Tech Mahindra, we have two kinds of products and platform one of our technology-led platforms which are surrounded by technology like AI, 5G, cybersecurity, cloud, and these areas.

Other platforms provide business functions, which are smaller domain-centric solutions.

Our AI OPs and GaiA platform, the GaiA is an AI-driven platform called Sayint, a speech recognition and Speech Transcription platform in the AI world. We have many of these technology-centric platforms, but we also have the platform and products invested which are domain-centric. We are focusing on technology in AI, 5G, cybersecurity cloud, and data analytics, but quantum and Metaverse are the newer investment areas we want to scale up. And while Tech Mahindra and Comviva are some of the engines, we have many equations made in the recent past. We acquired a company called Geomatic. AI in Australia, we have quite a few assets which we are integrated with TechM offering now, and they are into a segment area they are into calls centre analytics area and customer experience area. So, we have quite a few products and platforms in each area.

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