In the past few weeks, Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, has traveled the world to answer questions about the future of artificial intelligence. During an event in India, his statement suggesting a small team of Indians could build something similar to OpenAI with $10 million sparked some outrage. Tech Mahindra’s CEO, CP Gurnani, even responded on Twitter with a challenge.
India has proven its capability to make an impact on the global scale. In the 2022 fiscal year, India’s IT and business process management sectors contributed 7.4% to its GDP. That’s projected to increase to 10% by 2025, a sign of the nation’s strength and resilience in the face of economic hardship. India is now home to the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, and is expected to grow 12 to 15 percent annually. Our digital payment system, the Unified Payments Interface, is being exported to other countries.
Open AI CEO Sam Altman was asked if three Indians with $10 million could design something similar to Open AI. His answer didn’t quite give much confidence. He later tried to explain that he meant a team with only $10 million couldn’t compete against Open AI, but the doubt still lingers in the air.
I still trust in the Indian tech ecosystem’s ability to create AI models on-par with or superior to the global standard. India’s progress is thanks to our ambitious youth and the combination of industry, academia, and the government. We have no restraints when it comes to building the AI industry, starting from the ground up.
India has a plethora of use cases for AI, particularly language-related ones. We have 22 official languages, and 121 languages spoken by 10,000 people or more. Natural language understanding and natural language generation can help people to communicate online with machines in their own dialect and language.
The country has already implemented successful policy interventions, like the National Data Governance Policy and the proposed national AI hubs. I believe there’s a great opportunity for all of us in the Indian IT industry to join forces and strive for global AI supremacy.
The Indian IT sector has grown significantly since liberalization in 1991, and is still increasing, albeit at a slower pace. We boast an infallible identity layer for more than a billion people due to the Aadhaar number, as well as rapid digital payments and direct credit to beneficiaries. India is among the best markets in the world for talent, and our exported talent has contributed significantly to product development and innovation at global tech majors.
India is now a frontrunner in the technology sector, and is in a position to bridge the world. We have the right assets, like our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, skilled talent, and robust research and development capabilities. With the right ingredients, India can become the tech hub of the world and benefit from the “techade” taking place.