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Flashback 2018: Top News Stories About AI & Analytics That Made Headlines


Flashback 2018: Top News Stories About AI & Analytics That Made Headlines


As the year ends, we list the news and headlines that broke the records and developments that marked new growth in the industry. With a lot of funding and investment in the new tech startups, appointments in the industry, opening up of a centre of excellence in India, hiring and more, there were a lot of positive developments in the year 2018. In this article, we walk through the biggest developments that the industry witnessed in the last year.



Appointments

January

Souma Das was appointed as the managing director of Teradata’s India operations. It was announced that he would be responsible for providing leadership and overall strategic direction of the company’s India business overseeing field operations that include sales, customer management, marketing, professional services and customer support.

The same month, ex-Microsoft executive Arun Balasubramanian was appointed as the new India head for Qlik, who was taken on board with an aim to expand the company’s operations in India. With an experience of 20 years, he brings experience from companies such as HP, CA Technologies, Salesforce in areas such as IT market along with cloud and subscription delivery models.

February

The Smart Cube announced the appointment of Gaurav Kumar as its new Chief Operating Officer, who had first joined the company as Research Analyst in 2005. He was appointed to pick up the responsibilities previously held by Managing Director Sameer Walia, one of The Smart Cube’s three founders

Dr Atul Varshneya was hired as the new AI head at Tavant with an aim to increase applied innovation for in the space of AI-based platforms and solutions. He was earlier involved with Samsung SDSRA AI engine which helps provide business solutions to companies with the help of AI and has extensive knowledge of software technologies, AI, machine learning.

Namit Jain was appointed to head the worldwide Engineering management division at Qubole. Having worked with noted organisations such as Oracle, Facebook and Nutanix before, he has a vast experience in databases and big data technologies, along with scaling large global engineering teams.

March

Pushpak Bhattacharyya, director at Indian Institute of Technology, Patna was appointed to head the new committee for standardisation in artificial intelligence set up by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which falls under the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs. It was set up with an aim of standardising projects that revolve around cybersecurity, legal and ethical issues in the IT sector, technological mapping and leveraging AI for national missions, among others.

April

Airtel appointed former NASA executive Santanu Bhattacharya as Chief Data Scientist in Bharti Airtel. He was hired to work in the new tech space such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, augmented reality and virtual reality, among others. He was appointed with an aim to bring data science capabilities and deep analytics to understand customer needs and develop innovative products and services for Airtel.

Apple hired John Giannandrea, who had stepped down from his position as head of the Search and AI units only days ago. It was said that he would lead the company’s machine learning and AI strategy.

May

Google appointed Nitin Bawankule as head of India Cloud Business at Google. Bawankule, who has been with Google India for over six years as the head of sales for multiple verticals including e-commerce, retail, classifieds and education, brings over 20 years of experience in digital, technology and consumer industry.

July

Swiggy appointed ex-Amazon executive Dale Vaz as its head of Engineering and Data Sciences Department. He was taken on-board to improve Swiggy’s technology strategy and build the company’s next-generation artificial intelligence-driven platform for “hyperlocal discovery and on-demand delivery”.

August

John Gikopoulos joined Infosys as the global head for AI and automation. He was the director at IPsoft prior to this and has also served as a partner at McKinsey and Company.

September

Dr Andrew Moore replaced AI Guru Fei-Fei Li at Google cloud. It was one of the most discussed re-shuffle announcement announced by Google as Fei-Fei Li announced returning to her professorship at Stanford. Dr Moore had earlier worked at Google between 2006 and 2014. Google had announced in a statement that she would continue to work as an advisor to the company.

October

Cloudera appointed Vinod Ganesan as India country head. It was announced that he would drive Cloudera’s growth in the region, expand its customer base and help organisations enhance the measurable benefits of big data through machine learning and analytics.


Funding And Investment

January

Mobile analytics startup CleverTap received fresh funding of an undisclosed amount from Japan-based Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd. The investment was made in association with CleverTap’s current investors, Sequoia Capital India and Accel Partners. It was speculated that the new investment secured by the startup was a part of its efforts to raise $8 million.

PiVentures announced second close to their fund at $25 mn which it would use to boost startups in the space of applied artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT. It had announced its plan to invest in 18-20 startups over a time frame of 3-4 years.

Energy-tech startup Bidgely raised $27 mn in Series C funding Georgian Partners. One of the largest rounds of investments for the year, they plan to work on India expansion.

Hyderabad-based startup eKincare raised $1.5M in Series A funding from prominent investment firms such as Venture East, Eight Roads, Touchstone Equities, Endiya Partners and included Padmashri awardee BVR Mohan Reddy in the investing round.

AI-based HRTech startup Skillate got an undisclosed amount of funding from Incubate Fund India and Anuj Agrawal, Director at Zyoin. The company had mentioned its plan to use the funding amount to accelerate product development and improve its customer base in India and abroad.

Andrew Ng introduced AI fund with $175 mn for AI startups. This fund envisions to build transformative AI companies from the ground up and will fund the work of experts in AI and machine learning.

February

FourKites raised $35 mn in Series B funding led by August Capital, which it had hinted to use in doubling its engineering talent pool. It had also announced additional investments from existing investors Bain Capital Ventures and Hyde Park Venture Partners.

Healthcare analytics startup The Healthy Billion raises $2.1 mn in funding from Blume Ventures, Healthquad, Fireside Ventures, Apoorva Patni, and Arpan Sheth, a partner in Bain & Co, among others. Set up in 2015, THB is a healthcare analytics start-up combines clinical research and data analytics offering personalised healthcare to patients.

AI startup Capillary Technologies Raised $20 Million from its existing investors, including PE firm Warburg Pincus and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. It had suggested that it would use the fund ti open its second office in China.

Trilyo, a Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence platform for hospitality industry raised $250,000 in a funding round led by Startup Buddy.

March

Wipro invested $2.02 mn on US-Based AI Startup Avaamo which was founded by Ram Menon and Sriram Chakravarthy in 2014. The key focus areas of the investments are AI, big data, IoT, FinTech, healthcare IT etc.

Peritus AI, a startup providing AI and machine learning driven automation solution raised a funding amount of $2 mn from venture capital firm Ideaspring Capital and early-stage fund The Hive. The startup had announced to use it for setting up R&D centre and strengthening its development team in India.

CustomerSuccessBox raised $1 mn from Pi Ventures in pre Series A funding round. Founded by Puneet Kataria, the startup was built to deliver ‘proactive’ customer success” using analytics. They wanted to direct these funds to drive growth and product innovation.

Micromax invested an undisclosed amount in AI-based startup One Labs, which it had used to strengthen its device ecosystem.

April

Synctag raised over ₹2 crore in series A funding from a private equity firm Subhkam Ventures. It was reported that Syntag is going to use it for geographical expansion and scaling up the portfolio of products and services.

Agri analytics startup AgNext got funded from Omnivore which was the second round of investment by the venture fund on the startup. The amount invested wasn’t disclosed by either party. As part of this funding, Subhadeep Sanyal, principal at Omnivore, joined AgNext’s board.

Reliance announced that it would invest $180 mn in AI education platform Embibe over the next 3 years. The startup said that it would use the capital over the next three years to deepen its research and development on using AI in education.

Mumbai-based robotics startup emotix raised $2 mn from IDG ventures and YourNest, which the startup announced to be using for new product development and research in areas like emotional and artificial intelligence.

Twitter co-Founder Biz Stone invested in Indian AI-based health startup Visit, which is a brainchild of students from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, who are connecting patients and doctors via an AI-powered chatbot.

May

Innovaccer raised $25 Mn Series B round of funding, led by Westbridge Capital with participation from Lightspeed Ventures. This brought the total capital raised by Innovaccer to $41 mn.

June

Bengaluru-based sales analytics startup DigiConnectt raised $125,000 in seed funding from US-based transport management solutions leader Aspire Logistics LLC. The fresh capital will be used by the startup for technology advancement and to strengthen its product lineup, DigiConnectt said in a statement.

Intelligent logistics startup Locus raised $4Mn in pre-Series B Funding which it announced would be using to build IP and expand globally. The likes of Rocketship.VC, Recruit Strategic Partners, piVentures and Hemendra Kothari of DSP Group, invested in the company, with participation from previous investors Blume Ventures, Exfinity Venture Partners, BeeNext and growX ventures.

Bosch announced to invest ₹17 bn in India, with a focus to expand Bengaluru-based Smart Campus. They announced an investment of ₹17 billion ($250 million) over the next three years.

Elucidata raised $1.7 mn in seed funding from Hyperplane venture capital. Elucidata’s products are designed to take researchers from raw data to biological insights swiftly and efficiently.  

Noodle.ai raises $35 mn in Series B funding from Dell and TGP Growth. Their fundraising now totals to $51 million. The company will use the new funds to expand their suite of applications, which help key industries predict the future and make better business decisions.

Healthcare startup SigTuple raised $19 mn (₹130 crore) in Series B round funding. Founded 2015 by former American Express employees Rohit Kumar Pandey, Tathagato Rai Dastidar and Apurv Anand, the company has raised $6.5 million from different investors so far.

July

RPA company Automation Anywhere raised $250 mn in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates, Goldman Sachs Growth Equity; with participation from General Atlantic and World Innovation Lab. This investment has brought the company’s post-money valuation to $1.8 billion.

Media measurement analytics startup VTION bags premium funding from AngelList. Founded in 2016 by Manoj Dawane, VTION provides a unique platform for analytics and measurement technologies in the media sector. VTION hopes to use the funding amount to expand its portfolio and will have a broader reach in the Indian media ecosystem.

Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings invested $15 million in AntWorks, a three-year-old artificial intelligence company. The purpose of the MoU was to establish a joint venture company with AntWorks to operate businesses in Asia.

Bengaluru-based Emotion AI startup Entropik Tech raised $1.1 mn in Pre-series A round led by Bharat Innovation Fund (BIF) and co-invested by Parampara Capital, Arthavida Ventures and Jitendra Gupta. They would use the fund to scale their platform Affect Lab 2.0.

Iqlect raises $2.5 mn in a bridge round which was chiefly led by new investor VentureEast and existing investor Exfinity Ventures. The company creates products that use predictive and real-time data analytics to monitor and predict user and machine behaviours.

Food tech startup Dishq (now Spoonshot) raised $400,000 in pre-seed funding which was funded by several investors including, Techstars’ first food/AgTech-focused accelerator called Farm To Fork, and Arts Alliance. The company had said that it would be using the funds to expand the engineering team as well as sales and marketing activities.

August

Healthcare startup HealthSignz raised $5 mn in funding which was led by Dr Kantilal Patel, founder of New Zealand-based Nirvana Health Group. HealthSignz is an artificial intelligence-driven healthcare platform which uses a proprietary AI engine to help its users.

Observe.AI secured $8 mn in funding led by Nexus Venture Partners with participation from MGV, Liquid 2 Ventures, Hack VC and existing investors Emergent Ventures and Y Combinator. They also announced their agent-first voice AI platform to improve caller satisfaction in call centres worldwide.

Samsung announced that it plans to boost investments in businesses that will drive its future growth. It committed $22 billion investment over the next three years with a focus on areas such as artificial intelligence, 5G, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals.

Imarticus Learning raised $2 mn from CBA Capital and plans to go global with this funding amount. The funding amount would be used to further  Imarticus Learning’s vision of becoming India’s largest professional education institute, as well as creating a global footprint by bridging the gap between the industry and academia.

pi Ventures, India’s first Applied Artificial Intelligence and IoT focused early stage venture fund raised $6 mn in funding, that it will invest in startups with deep tech capabilities. The funding was done by CDC Group.

September

AutoGrid, a company building AI and ML-based software applications announced that it had secured $32 million in series D funding from a set of strategic energy investors including CLP Holdings Group, Innogy, Ørstead and Tenaska, among others.

Chennai-based SaaS startup CloudCherry Analytics secured $9 mn in Series A Funding from venture capital firm Pelion Venture Partners. The current investors Vertex Ventures, IDG Ventures India and Cisco Investments also took part in this round. The startup will use the fund to increase its product offerings.

Mad Street Den, AI-for fashion startup raised Japanese telecom operator KDDI through KDDI Open Innovation Fund 2. The Indian-US startup, which was founded in Chennai, was founded in 2013 by a neuroscientist-designer duo, Dr Anand Chandrasekhar and Aswini Asokan. It raised an undisclosed amount during the funding round.

Drone analytics startup SenseHawk raised $2 mn in a funding round from SAIF Partners a venture and growth capital fund. Other angel investors were also reported to have participated in the funding round. It was reported that they would use the fund for hiring and bolstering business development and deepening the product pipeline.

pi Ventures announced the final close of their first fund at ₹225 crore, which came from CDC Group UK, Chairman of Hero Enterprise Sunil Kant Munjal, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Electronic Development Fund (managed by Canbank Ventures), SIDBI, prominent family offices from USA, Canada, Singapore and India and leading entrepreneurs like Mohandas Pai, Binny Bansal, Deep Kalra, Sanjeev Bikhchandani and Bhupen Shah among others. It plans to invest in more than 20 startups.

Reliance industries made the second round of investment in AI startup NetraDyne. Bengaluru based startup is a deep learning startup that is pushing the boundaries in computer vision and its application in vehicle technology. It raised $8 million from Reliance Industries who had earlier invested $16 million in June 2016.

October

Betterhalf.AI raises $500,000 in seed funding. The investors included noted names like former MD of Google India Shailesh Rao, former investment director of Flipkart Rehan A Khan along with a slew of other senior investors. Betterhalf.AI positions itself as a “true compatibility” partner search product which uses artificial intelligence.

Cognitive AI startup Worxogo raises ₹16.5 Cr from Inventus and Ideaspring Capital that the company plans to use to strengthen its AI engine called Mia, a personal digital coach for employees and expand the market base to US market and other global markets.

VideoKen raised $930,000 in the second round of seed funding led by SRI Capital, Touchstone Equities and Hyderabad Angels. In their first round of seed funding, VideoKen had raised $1 million from a slew of angel investors.

November

CropIn Tech raises $8 mn in Series B funding led by Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Strategic Investment Fund.

Engineer.ai raised $29.5 mn in Series A funding led By Softbank’s DeepCore and others. Reports indicated that the investment will be used for deepening engineering operations and drive customer acquisition.

December

Qualcomm launches $100 mn investment fund for AI to be invested in startups in the space. The company announced that the fund would focus on startups that share the vision of on-device AI becoming more powerful and widespread, with an emphasis on those developing new technology for autonomous cars, robotics and machine learning platforms.

Vogo, an Indian scooter sharing network announced that Ola would be investing $100 mn in the company. It also saw participation from Matrix Partners India and Stellaris Venture Partners.


Political

January

Rajnikant made a political debut with research and data analytics in his arsenal. It was reported that selected teams from the actor’s camp were dispatched across the state of Tamil Nadu to take stock of the agricultural and geopolitical concerns, and aggregate data and solutions pertaining to them. A technology team is said to be at the ready to deploy data analytics to the aggregated figures.

In another interesting development, Jaganmohan Reddy turned to data analytics to devise a strategy for 2019 Andhra Pradesh Assembly Elections. It was reported that they are using analytics insights to maximise the effectiveness of his ongoing people’s outreach program, Praja Sankalpa Yatra.

February

Congress party announced setting up of analytics department. They had renamed their computer department to ‘Data Analytics Department’, with Praveen Chakravarty being nominated the chairman with immediate effect.

October

Facebook took a step to tackle election-related interference for Lok Sabha 2019. The company said that they were establishing a task force in India to prevent “bad actors” from abusing its platform and spreading fake news and hate speech.

Indian Government And NITI Aayog

February

The government announced incentives for startups and businesses working in the AI sector. NITI Aayog, the policy think tank of Government of India announced that it would be offering incentives to startups and venture funds which could work and research in the field of artificial intelligence.

March

The government made use of data analytics to find the reason behind the revenue leakage in GST collection. GST Council had highlighted a number of major data gaps between the self-declared liability in FORM GSTR-1 and FORM GSTR-3B.

Maharashtra government announced that India will soon get its first institute for Artificial Intelligence in Mumbai.

The AI task force set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry recommended that a ₹1,200 crore corpus would be set up for five years under the Union Budget with an aim to push the National Artificial Intelligence Mission (N-AIM).

April

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that it would be setting up a data science lab to add tech support in policy formulation. It had said that the creation of data science lab would help improve its “forecasting, nowcasting, surveillance and early-warning detection abilities that aid policy formulation.”

NITI Aayog announced that it would open 30,000 Atal tinkering labs to promote New Tech in the education sector. They believe that India’s growth for the next few decades will depend on the innovations coming out of these tinkering labs.

May

Punjab National Bank (PNB) announced that it plans to implement AI in account reconciliation as well as using analytics to improve its audit systems. With the AI-enabled audit system in place, PNB aims to ensure improved security to its banking system to eliminate loopholes.

June

NITI Aayog released paper for India’s strategy on AI. It identified five sectors to focus its efforts towards the implementation of AI to serve societal needs such as healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities, smart mobility.

NITI Aayog’s Atal tinkering labs added 3,000 more schools in its portfolio which is an innovation-driven programme for students to come up with new and creative ideas in the field of science and technology.


Collaboration, Partnerships And Acquisition

March

IIT Madras joined hands with Applied Materials India for research in AI, machine learning and data sciences. It was another strategic agreement of the institute with the industry to boost academic and research activities

Fractal Analytics acquired Final Mile to bring together AI and behavioural sciences. The acquisition was done for an undisclosed amount and brings together the disciplines of data analytics, artificial intelligence and behavioural sciences.

In another industry-institute partnership, Samsung partnered with BITS Pilani to upskill employees in AI, ML. Samsung India signed a Memorandum of Understanding with engineering institute BITS Pilani to facilitate advanced learning for its employees at Samsung R&D Institute (SRI) in Noida.

April

Myntra bought IoT-enabled smart wearable startup Witworks for an undisclosed amount. As a part of the acquisition, the Flipkart-owned firm will induct the startup’s team into its Innovation Labs.

May

EXL signed a definitive agreement to acquire SCIO Health Analytics as a part of a $240 million deal. SCIO’s significant early investors include Sequoia India, Health Enterprise Partners and Saama Capital.

Cognizant acquired privately-held Hedera Consulting, a company that specialises in business advisory and data analytics services across a number of industry sectors. The purchase would expand Cognizant’s consulting, business insight and digital transformation capabilities for clients in Belgium and the Netherlands.

June

The Cross-Tab Group which includes the companies Blueocean Market Intelligence, Cross-Tab, and Borderless Access, went through a major restructuring with two of its three companies, Blueocean Market Intelligence and Cross-Tab, merging to form a new powerful entity — Course5.

InMobi partnered with Microsoft to provide AI-based insights to marketers. The partnership will consist of InMobi moving to Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud provider.

The Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi and Amazon Internet Services Private Limited (AISPL) signed a memorandum of understanding this week to develop cloud-ready job skills by providing access to the AWS Educate program.

July

Reliance acquired US-based Radisys for $74 mn with a plan to accelerate 5G and IoT growth. According to a statement released by Radisys, they entered into a “definitive agreement” under which RIL will acquire Radisys for $1.72 per share in cash.

Karnataka Govt signed MoU with Taiwanese science parks to promote AI and robotics. The deal would see a collaboration between Hsinchu Science Park and Central Taiwan Science Park of Taiwan and Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS).

India and the UAE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the India-UAE Artificial Intelligence Bridge in New Delhi. It was estimated that this partnership will generate an estimated $20 billion in economic benefits during the next decade for both countries.

August

Flipkart acquired Liv.ai. It was estimated that the deal was closed at around $40 million.

September

IIT Bombay joined hands with IBM to carry out advanced research in artificial intelligence under IBM’s AI Horizons Network. IIT Bombay paired their noted faculty and top graduate students with leading AI scientists from IBM Research India to advance and accelerate the application of AI, machine learning, natural language processing and related new technologies to business and the industry.

After Liv.ai, Flipkart acquired Israeli retail analytics startup Upstream Commerce. Reportedly, the move will help Flipkart to deliver real-time pricing and product analytics to its seller partners.

Bengaluru International Airport Ltd (BIAL) inked an agreement with Unisys, leading global tech firm for an advanced data analytics and BI platform to overhaul the passenger experience by providing more personalisation. BIAL has also tied up with Unisys Corporation – to set up the analytics centre of excellence.

October

NITI Aayog and tech giant Microsoft forged a partnership to leverage AI-based solutions in two sectors — agriculture and healthcare. It was aimed at pushing the use of AI, cloud and research and develop vertical expertise in new initiatives and solutions across agriculture, healthcare and the environment.

Spoonshot acquired restaurant analytics startup Brisky. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

SBI joined a definitive agreement with Hitachi to enter into a joint venture for the establishment of state-of-the-art card acceptance and future-ready digital payment platform for India. The JV agreement is subject to requisite regulatory approvals.

See Also

IBM acquired Red Hat For $34 Billion. The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer and is speculated to change everything about the cloud market.

Airtel acquired Bengaluru-based startup AuthMe to strengthen its AI Portfolio. This deal adds to Airtel’s recent initiatives to serve customers with innovative digital products.

November

The Kerala state government signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus BizLab to open a state-of-the-art innovation centre. This centre will be the nodal body for planning and executing all the activities to help start-ups.

Mindtree partners with IISc Bangalore to advance research in artificial intelligence. This partnership is aimed at facilitating teaching and research for AI in both data sciences and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

December

India and Russia signed an agreement to increase cooperation in areas of artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and explore the possibility of joint work in the healthcare sectors.

In a move to improve their artificial intelligence- based personal assistants and another internet of things projects, Apple Inc acquired a San Francisco-based startup Silk Labs. It is doing some cutting-edge work on next-generation visual and audio intelligence to connected products using deep neural networks.

IIT Bombay and NEC Technologies India inked an agreement to deepen research and development in the area of big data analytics, IoT and AI to tackle India’s social challenges.

IBM announced that it has collaborated with IIT Delhi in a multi-year deal to work on AI. The aim is to discover novel AI techniques which can help organisations make informed decisions by being able to logically reason with their AI systems.

Walmart Labs acquired int.ai to strengthen its engineering team.


New Lab Set-Up And Hiring In AI

February

American multinational computer software giant Adobe announced that they to set up an advanced artificial intelligence laboratory in Hyderabad soon.

Noted data company CtrlS launched Asia’s largest Tier4 data centre in Bengaluru. The data centre, which is located in the Electronics City part of the metro, is set to provide mission-critical operations to India’s leading internet banking, insurance, and other clients.

Samsung had announced that is set to hire 1,000 engineers from top Indian institutes to work specifically in the research and development department in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and 5G, among others.

Data analytics company, Axtria announced that it plans to double its headcount in India and is looking to hire over 700 data science professional in India.

March

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IITKGP) is setting up a Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence Research with seed funding from Capillary Technologies Limited, with funding of ₹5.64 crores.

Foodpanda, one of India’s noted online marketplace for food delivery, announced the launch of its dedicated technology centre in Bengaluru. It is looking to hire more than 100 team members with strong tech background over the next six to nine months.

Flipkart had announced that it has 700 open vacancies majorly across functions in the technology department including data science

July

Paypal announced that it is looking to hire 600 more tech experts in India in areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning, among others, by December this year. Some of the job roles that PayPal intends to hire for include application developers — Java, Node JS; back-end developers — data engineers, data experts and product managers.

A report suggested that noted tech company Synopsys is set to expand their base in India by hiring 200 more employees over the course of the next two years. It works in the area of autonomous cars, wearables, smart medical devices, secure financial services, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision and IoT, among others.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) joined hands with US-based chip designer NVIDIA to set up a Centre of Excellence at Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) in New Delhi. This centre will house India’s first ever supercomputer.

December

OnePlus announced that it plans to set up one of its first R&D facilities in Hyderabad. According to reports, this facility will purely focus on promulgating AI and ML in their products specifically for Indian consumers.

There were reports suggesting that Havells India is planning to expand its R&D base in India. They are looking to invest over ₹1,500 crore over the period of next five years hire around 100 fresh IoT techies.


Product And Accelerator Programme Launch

April

Tableau announced the global launch of new data preparation product ‘Tableau Prep’ and their new subscription offering, that would help in scaling up the analytics capabilities in an organisation.

June

IBM announced the launch of their artificial intelligence-powered enterprise marketing solution in India. This move will reportedly allow customers to host their marketing data on local IBM cloud data centre while giving customers proximity and scalability.

July

Microsoft introduced new AI-backed capabilities in Microsoft 365 with a host of new features.

IIT-Hyderabad develops new AI-based system to catch bikers without helmets in surveillance videos. Hyderabad City Police signed a memorandum of understanding with the institute.

August

Google rolled out Android Pie, its highly-anticipated mobile phone operating system. This OS’ major updates focus is on artificial intelligence, which will allow the system to “learn” from the user and customise the Android experience.

One97 Communications Limited, the holding company for Paytm, announced the launch of an artificial cloud computing platform for the online payment portal, named ‘Paytm AI Cloud for India’. The platform is aimed at developers, startups and enterprises. They partnered with Alibaba for Cloud Computing Infrastructure.

At their annual flagship conference Google For India 2018, the search engine giant announced the launch of Navlekha, a platform built to help Indian language publishers get their content on the internet. The search feed will now display favourite news from both English and Hindi sources, using artificial intelligence that learns which types of stories the users like best.

September

Google launched Dataset Search, for scientists, data journalists, data geeks, or anyone else can who wants to find the data required for their work and their stories.

Samsung Electronics announced the opening of the world’s largest mobile experience centre in Bengaluru, India. It is a 33,000 sq ft standalone property which will host experiences around transformative technologies like virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the internet of things.

October

Anil Kumble and Microsoft came together to announce the introduction of “Power Bat”, a product that helps players, coaches, commentators and fans to view and analyse the game in a unique way.

HDFC Bank announced the launch of their Accelerator Engagement Programme (AEP) under the Bank’s Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) that aims to support ideas innovative solutions in the area of artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, and robotic process automation, among other new tech areas.

Philips announced the launch of their first global startup collaboration program involving Philips’ innovation hubs in Cambridge (US), Eindhoven, Bengaluru and Shanghai, focused on the application of artificial intelligence in healthcare.

Teradata announced a new platform named Teradata Vantage which is Teradata’s next-generation analytics platform. and is now available to all customers. Vantage will allow enterprises to detect and uncover actionable insights into the biggest business problems by improving the analytics function.

November

Synechron Inc, the noted global financial services consulting and technology services provider, announced the launch of their Artificial Intelligence Data Science Accelerators for the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) firms.

December

Noted Indian pharmaceutical company Lupin launched a new chatbot called ANYA which will provide medical information and addresses queries for patients.

SBI Mutual Funds launched their first artificial intelligence-powered voice assistant in collaboration with Google.


AI In Healthcare

January

Apex Heart Institute, Ahmedabad became the first location outside the US to have a commercial installation of the advanced AI-powered vascular robotic system, CorPath GRX.

Philips Healthcare launched a new line of AI-powered imaging devices which will help radiologists and imaging departments across hospitals. The three products launched are Access CT 32 Slice, Ingenia Prodiva 1.5T MRI and Dura Diagnost F30 Digital X-ray.

March

Microsoft announced to bring artificially intelligent solutions to boost research in the area cardiology. They had plans of partnering with Apollo Hospitals, one of the largest health systems in India to bring solutions.

May

Apollo Hospitals announced that they will be adopting Watson for Oncology and Watson for Genomics. The two IBM cognitive computing platforms will help physicians provide patients with personalised, evidence-based cancer care.

December

GE Healthcare announced new applications and smart devices built on Edison – a platform that helps accelerate the development and adoption of artificial intelligence and empower providers to deliver faster, more precise care.

MedAchievers Academic Council and LabIndia Healthcare launched an AI-based open orthopaedic surgery simulator which will be used for training orthopaedic and neurosurgeons.


Others

January

The Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Delhi said that it is working on a driverless autonomous electric rickshaw to provide last-mile connectivity to urban Indians.

February

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launched the first on-road tests of the world’s first autonomous pods, that has been developed in cooperation with Next Future Transportation

Twenty Two Motors launched its smart electric scooter, Flow, equipped with AI and cloud capabilities at the Auto Expo 2018 held at Greater Noida and New Delhi.

April

It was announced that passenger visiting Bengaluru airport may soon be greeted by a special robot assistant called KEMPA. The little bot assistant will answers queries of confused passengers in English as well as Kannada.

December

100 million Quora users were affected by a massive data security breach. It compromised data including name, address, password, public and non-public content posted on the website and shared on other networks being leaked.



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