The questions most often asked by businesses are: What did we do right or wrong last month? Why did whatever happen, positive or negative, happen and what can we do to ensure the future will be what we want it to be, by mitigating the risk of negative happenings and create more positives? The answers are available now, thanks to technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Advanced Analytics (AA). Armed with the new technologies, businesses are moving from Descriptive to Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics. Machine Learning (ML) and AI are increasingly used to extract new ideas from volumes of data that are generated every minute. With this transformation becoming stronger, 5F World, the meta start-up founded by Ganesh Natarajan, and California’s advanced analytics firm Systech Solutions have come forward to float a joint venture to develop global capabilities in AI and AA, for corporates and students in India.
The joint venture is launching an academy, christened ‘Center for Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics (CAIA), which will be based out of Chennai. It will be up and running by end of the March, this year. CAIA is the brainchild of alumni of IIT Madras and IIT Bombay. Digital leaders of 5F World and Systech have joined hands to create a venture for conceptualising the future of workforce, governments and businesses. 5F World has activities in research consulting and technology. It has invested in digital and skills start-ups. The company has recently announced a JV with New York-based Chesapeake Inc to provide digital transformation and growth advisory solutions in India and the US. 5F World specialises in designing solutions around digital platforms and Systech has expertise in offering AI and advanced analytics solutions to Fortune 500 companies.
“Initially, we will take 30 students as well as people from companies for the programme. Gradually, we will expand to other cities and we expect 40% of the training to happen on the internet,” said Ganesh Natarajan, chairman of 5F World.
He said the career programme will be primarily for full-time students but modules could be imparted to the corporate employees for upskilling purposes. New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune could be additional centres as CAIA spread its wings in the future as the affiliate companies of 5F World have centres at these places. “We hope to train 50,000 to 60,000 people annually in the next two years through modules, career programmes and internet. We just want to ensure that this will be the best training programme in the country for AI and advanced analystics. For that, we will deploy our investments on the best faculty,” he said. AI and data are the the new competitive advantage factors for companies, professionals and even countries. The research consulting and global skills CAIA provides will push the frontiers of capability in this area, he said. CAIA will leverage 5F World research and connectivity through its network of investee companies and JVs and Systech’s high growth consulting operations to provide the best knowledge to corporate employees and career seekers.
R Chandrasekaran, executive vice chairman, Cognizant, who was the chief guest at the CAIA launch function, said AI and advanced analytics have become key factors that define the success of an enterprise. “What we are witnessing today is unprecedented transformation. That has really opened up a tremendous set of opportunities. Contrary to what we have been reading in media about jobs being lost because of automation, I think because of digital technology a lot of opportunities are being opened up. We need to be well equipped to tap those opportunities,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Arun Gollapudi, founder & CEO, Systech Solutions said; “Systech is helping some of the leading corporations in America including Tesla Motors, United Health, Franklin Templeton and 21st Century Fox to explore advanced analytics. We are delighted to bring our expertise to India.” CAIA will focus on global research on emerging trends, technologies and applications in AI and advanced analytics. It will provide advanced training programmes for preparing a future-ready workforce. Ravi V, chief strategy officer, TCS, said though AI existed earlier too, what has changed is the emergence of a new set of tools and techniques that come together to correlate volumnious data. “The world is moving towards what you call machine-first development model which means you give technology the first right of refusal in any process. And when you do that, you have to apply advanced analytics,” he said.
Explaining further, Natarajan said: “Today the world is moving towards digital transformation. We, at CAIA, will show you the future by taking you into the exciting universe of AI, ML and advanced analytics and thereby enable you to make an extremely successful career in the future world of information technology.”
The programmes at CAIA will be designed by alumni of IIT Madras and Bombay to provide in-depth understanding of business intelligence, Big Data, and advanced analytics. Built around comprehensive real data sets and case studies, the curriculum is created by industry veterans with over 20 years of experience in delivering cutting-edge solutions. Trainers will be drawn from the industry who have successfully spearheaded many global projects and brought in practical hands-on knowledge. CAIA will ensure mentorship by industry experts from leading business organisations.
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