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AI is all-pervasive. Infused into every aspect of any business, it can transform business models and the processes that define it, the applications that deliver it, and the infrastructure that supports it.
Hasit Trivedi, CTO Digital Technologies & Global Head – AI at Tech Mahindra, believes that in recent years, AI has become one of the most potent tools in tech history to bring machines and humankind together.
In this exclusive interview with Analytics India Magazine, Hasit Trivedi discusses how Tech Mahindra is helping their customers leverage AI/ML, AI regulation and also how the IT giant is leveraging AI for humanitarian causes.
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AIM: Tell us a bit about the work that Tech Mahindra has been doing in terms of AI.
Hasit: At Tech Mahindra, we have a suite of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, TechM amplifAI0->∞ , that is helping us democratise and scale the deployment of AI technology for enterprises globally.
Our labs across geographies serve as innovation hubs wherein several exciting projects run in different areas of AI and integrate cutting-edge technologies to build numerous solutions for various industries. For example, we implemented a deep learning-based model for a telco company to predict if a truck roll is required for a customer ticket. The ML model could predict with 70% accuracy if truck rolls are required for customer tickets. In 25% of the truck rolls to fix issues at customer locations, no fault was found, subsequently resulting in substantial revenue savings.
AI has helped us remain committed to ensuring the well-being of our employees, customers, and partner ecosystem. We have multiple programmes across the organisation that have active deliveries based on AI and Advanced Analytics for specific use cases like order fallout, fault prediction, pole detection, and asset maintenance using computer vision-based solutions.
We also work with hyper scalers for their product maintenance, helping them with AI Crowdsourcing, and more. Similarly, our AI NLP-based chatbot is implemented for many clients. We have built an AR/VR-based training module for our employees, and we are continuing work on product development involving technologies like AI and AR/VR. Another project we are currently working on includes Autonomous Driving for Indian road conditions based on Vision AI.
AI is a lucrative investment sector for us as it guarantees improved business outcomes, resilience, customer satisfaction and retention, along with enhanced operational efficiencies.
AIM: Tell us a bit about TechM amplifAI0->∞ . What are the problems it solves?
Hasit: TechM amplifAI0->∞ is a suite of AI offerings and solutions to democratise and scale the deployment of AI in a responsible manner. We have different AI solutions and capabilities like Chatbot Analytics, Complaint Analytics, Call Data Analytics, Demand Forecasting Workbench, Intelligent Automation, AI Store, AI Maturity Assessment Utility, ITSM Problem Analytics, Alert Noise Management, DB Anomaly Detection, Provisioning Commerce, AI & Automation CoE, AI Discovery, Enterprise AI/Democratisation of AI, MLOps, Document AI, Computer Vision, Edge AI, and more.
Through these offerings and solutions, we help enterprises amplify human potential and solve complex problems to future-proof business operations. The most salient feature of TechM amplifAI0->∞ is that its AI solutions can eliminate existing bottlenecks by offering tailor-made services and automating processes to increase the throughput and profitability of enterprises.
We believe in the strategy of aspiring for Zero to Infinity. AI can offer a distinctive competitive edge and defence in a highly disruptive environment for ZeroOps. It can help businesses with InfinityOps to solve complex problems and create disruptive capabilities with AI-driven insights, action, and agility.
Our approach to customer lifecycle and enterprise AI is structured and caters to any stage of the AI & Data Science lifecycle. We help clients in their enterprise AI journey through our end-to-end implementation and consultation offering that caters to a customisable AI journey for clients. For example, AI improved data accuracy by 90% and reduced 60% human effort for an insurance claims company; a leading US-based telecom company enabled AI/ML to optimise prices and discounts and better serve its customers.
AIM: Can you shed some light on the AI strategies implemented by Tech Mahindra in creating a sustainable advantage for enterprises?
Hasit: To harness this capability fully of AI, Tech Mahindra’s design thinking-led approach and frameworks help identify AI opportunities in organisations. Further, our experts determine the right AI strategy and chalk out the sustainable growth roadmap for organisations. Competencies are augmented as we drive digital transformation globally. In tandem with this, Tech Mahindra actively promotes the DigitALL philosophy for comprehensive business transformation.
Tech Mahindra has invested heavily in innovations, building IPs and AI solutions, and acquiring products that could enable next-generation AI solutions for our clients. Besides, we have platform-centric solutions, our in-house or partners’ platforms. These platforms could cater to a point solution for an industry problem or enable development solutions for a broad spectrum of data science problems.
We have a structured approach towards enabling talent, reskilling, and refactoring them across the enterprise, thereby democratising AI. We have a team of domain consultants who specialise in industry verticals like banking, financial services, insurance, supply chain, manufacturing, health care, life sciences, telecom, retail, consumer goods, and more. This makes it easy to create value propositions, define the role, and prioritise the use cases and areas to solve the business problem.
AIM: Can you elaborate on some of the challenges prevailing in the industry?
Hasit: AI and ML solutions are transforming several operational, functional, and strategic landscapes across industries. In the enterprise context, AI systems have the potential to improve productivity and open up new avenues of revenue by building insights from data that define business and customer interaction patterns. On the flip side, perceived unfair treatment by the AI model can lead to trust issues, brand value erosion, and missed business opportunities—all directly impacting the top line. This is where AI ethics and fairness become important.
Users’ ethics and integrity issues have become a significant concern with advanced AI solutions. These solutions cannot always be neutral, and sometimes AI judgments are intangible to humans; sometimes, they ignore data accuracy and give ambiguous results.
TechM amplifAI0->∞ is robust in ensuring no bias, and we have defined the correct principles and transparent governance structures that build trust in AI amongst all stakeholders. We ensure that the risk control policies are in place for efficient monitoring and reporting.
Another challenge that many organisations face is the proper infrastructure support that AI requires, leading to high implementation costs. In some cases, poor IT infrastructure prevents organisations from implementing AI solutions. Our AIOps services have empowered us and our customers to leverage AI to improve IT and Network operations. Machine Learning Operations (MLOps) is critical in delivering high-performance production of AI/ML models at speed and scale, standardising and streamlining ML lifecycle management. Combining practices and processes helps organisations make seamless and efficient development, deployment, scaling, and maintenance of AI/ML models.
Besides, finding the right talent for using AI is a daunting task for enterprises. There is a huge demand for AI professionals in India, and upskilling and reskilling professionals is the way to address this demand.
AIM: Is Tech Mahindra leveraging AI for any humanitarian causes?
Hasit: At Tech Mahindra, we firmly believe that technology is the thread using which we can mend the present to create a more inclusive and sustainable society for the future. Technology today defines new realities for people from different socio-economic backgrounds and cultures by bringing them all on the same pedestal.
We leveraged AI to research potential therapeutic drugs for the treatment of COVID-19. In this application, we used AI to identify helpful information regarding hospital beds, oxygen, and more, from social media to help people in need. Our Whatsapp-based SOS Seva helped save lives, reaching at least 125,000 associates and partners.
Further, we designed an app to help farmers access important agriculture-related information and insights from government agencies like IMD, ISRO, Ministries of Govt. and Water (built with the Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt. of India’s office).
We have also leveraged Vision AI to identify pests based on an incoming photograph from a farm and provided information to the farmers on how to address the pest sustainably. We are working closely with PJTSAU (Telangana Agricultural University) for this initiative and contribute to India’s pest repository.
AIM: What are your views on AI ethics? Do you think the Indian government needs to have strong AI regulations in place?
Hasit: An ethical approach to AI is an absolute imperative. Knowing that an AI system will do whatever it is assigned to without considering its effects or legality, we must have strict regulations to prevent AI from generating adverse outcomes. Fortunately, governments, organisations, and institutions are categorising and identifying safe ways to deploy AI into their daily operations and secure sustainable growth.
The growth of AI startups and career opportunities has resulted in AI gaining massive traction, all for the right reasons. The employment market will constantly evolve, with several jobs getting automated while new ones getting created; however, aspirants will have to acquire new skills, including AI operational prowess, to remain relevant in the future job market. Again, interpreting the future, society at large will have to broadly embrace ethics and humanism concerning the progress of AI.
Undoubtedly, AI is already shaping global competitiveness, promising a strategic advantage to early adopters. With other mega-economies having joined the race to adopt AI safely and ethically, it is time for our government to employ AI-specific policies to gain the most out of it. The Government of India has already embarked on the AI technology revolution. With a few more policies strengthening the governance of its deployment, India will seamlessly harness its enormous digital capital through AI-driven development.