IBM Research – India sponsors a Conference @ IIM Bangalore

The Data Centre and Analytics Lab (DCAL) at IIM Bangalore, in association with IBM Research – India, organised ‘Research AI Day’. The Data Centre and Analytics Lab (DCAL) at IIM Bangalore, in association with IBM Research – India , organised ‘Research AI Day’ recently at IIMB. The theme of the event was ‘Usable Artificial Intelligence’ featuring expert speakers from academia and industry, a panel discussion, quizzes, demos, posters and tutorials for students and practitioners of AI. The program aimed to showcase the current trends in AI, what it takes to do research in AI, and applications of AI such as AI & Law, AI & Heath, AI & Education, AI & Retail, AI & Fashion, Adversarial AI, AI : Ethics & Responsible Use, AI & Privacy, AI & Policy/Govt, Dangers of Data etc.

The event also witnessed the launch of the book, titled, ‘Machine Learning using Python’, by Professor U Dinesh Kumar and Manaranjan Pradhan, IIM Bangalore. The book is written to provide a strong foundation in Machine Learning using Python libraries by providing real-life case studies and examples. It covers topics such as Foundations of Machine Learning, Introduction to Python, Descriptive Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Prescriptive Analytics, Advanced Machine Learning, Recommender Systems and Text Analytics. The book takes a balanced approach between theoretical understanding and practical applications.

While launching the book, U Dinesh Kumar, Professor, Decision Sciences, Chair of the MBA in Business Analytics and Chair of Career Development Services, and the Data Centre and Analytics Lab at IIM Bangalore, said: “The age of technology is on us and it’s changing the way we live. It has reduced the human effort through automation that helps solve current day problems. But, what goes behind this is all AI and ML. All the topics included in the book are real-world examples and provide step-by-step approach on how to explore, build, evaluate, and optimize machine learning models.”

Manaranjan Pradhan, Founder & Director at AwesomeStats Consulting Pvt. Ltd., observed: “Students who want to specialize in Machine Learning will enjoy reading this book. The book is designed to facilitate structured learning for people who want to begin from the intermediate level. This book is written to provide a strong foundation in Machine Learning using Python libraries by providing real-life case studies and examples. I am overwhelmed that this book has been launched at IIM Bangalore on Artificial Intelligence Day event and would urge readers to share their feedbacks on the book.”

The Research AI program was followed by panel discussion on ‘Applying AI : Challenges and Road Ahead’ by leading experts such as Sridharan Devarajan, Assistant Professor, IISc Bangalore; Subrat Panda, Heading AI and Data Sciences, Capillary Technologies;Vidhushi Marda, Legal Researcher, Technology, Policy; Gargi B Dasgupta, Director, IBM Research India and CTO, IBM India & South Asia.

Talking about the usage of AI in the back end and front end application Gargi B Dasgupta, Director, IBM Research India, CTO, IBM India & South Asia, said: “AI has been a dominant enterprise technology and the market for Enterprise AI has grown significantly. From front end application, AI has been beneficial for its customers challenge and has been playing a major role in creating and optimizing intelligent products and solutions across industries, backed by quantifiable results and value-add to the business. AI in different industries has realized the fact that what AI has brought to the table – be it in improving operations, assisting the data analytics drive, improving customer experience amongst other things and boosting innovation. But when we talk about back end application i.e. core enterprise like healthcare, banks, the infusion of AI in the core system has been very limited. One of the reasons could be scalability and trust. Core business has been very slow in adapting this technology and a lot more work needs to be done to improve it.”

Asserting the need of data security, Vidhushi Marda, Legal Researcher, Technology, Policy, said: “AI is not only a technical system but also a social technical system i.e. Human Centred Design and Cognitive Work Analysis. The outcome of applying the social technical system is to get better understanding of how human, social and organizational factors affect the ways that work is done and technical systems are used. Through the vast data that enterprises have in the data warehouse, combined with the power of an AI engine, businesses are doing predictive analytics, automated hypothesis, verification and generation but from my point of view AI is still not scalable and can only be used at deliberate mechanical task which requires no value judgement. From technical point of view, people who belong to lower income group are not allowed to apply loans, assuming they might be bad at credits and when organizations build AI model they follow the past record and come to a conclusion. Whereas, from legal point of view, India is sill not ready to have large scale development in AI because we still don’t have a strong data protection law which will provide guidance and best practice rules for organizations and the government. These sort of things need to be considered while designing the AI systems and limits our ability to scale them. Technology has definitely created enormous conveniences for us, but there is no reason why these conveniences have to inevitably come at the cost of giving up our privacy wholesale.”

With the goal of promoting greater participation of women in computer science research in academia and industry, and to provide a platform for them to collaborate, learn and network with each other, IIMB also hosted the women outreach program of IBM Research – India ‘Maitreyee’ on the same day. The session provided an opportunity to share best practices among industry and academia and enabled discussions on how women can grow in their technical careers.