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AI Becomes Prime Focus For Flipkart; Launches A New Business Vertical ‘AIForIndia’!

Artificial Intelligence or AI has been the buzzword in India and abroad since last few years

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Flipkart Launches AIForIndia

Artificial Intelligence or AI has been the buzzword in India and abroad since last few years – On one hand it has been associated with job loss in the IT sector, as AI and Automation has been killing jobs left and right; AI has also been associated with solving some of the biggest problems which consumers and businesses face today.

Flipkart, India’s largest ecommerce portal (arguably, because Amazon India too claims that position), has now declared a full dive into the field of AI, and to come up with cutting edge solutions.

This was declared by Sachin Bansal via an interesting blog post on their website.

AIForIndia has been officially launched by Flipkart, as a separate business vertical, exclusively dedicated to come up with AI related ecommerce solutions.

How can it solve India’s problems? We attempt to find out..

Flipkart’s AIForIndia Launched

Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal has officially announced the launch of AIForIndia, which is a separate business unit dedicated for doing research and development into AI and to come up with cutting edge solutions using AI.

As per reports, Flipkart will spend “hundreds of millions of dollars” for AIForIndia to enable cutting-edge research into AI and to scoop out ecommerce specific solution using AI.

This is for the first time that an ecommerce portal anywhere in the world has decided to launch a new, separate AI related business unit, and commit millions of dollars for AI specific research.

In a Q&A series posted on their blog under ‘Flipkart Stories’, Sachin Bansal said,

“Over the next decade AI will become a significant driving force of innovation and change across varied sectors in the Indian economy.”

As per Sachin, AI will ‘change everything in the next 20-30 years’, as logic based automation will seep deeper into every aspect of business and consumerism.

A new team for AIForIndia has been created, which will be headed by chief data scientist Mayur Datar with Bansal and Flipkart chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy directly reporting to the founders.

What Can Flipkart Do With AI?

The options are actually limitless.

As per some analysts, Flipkart has accumulated massive amount of data related to online shopping habits and behaviors of Indians, and now, it is time to optimally utilize the same for generating smart solutions.

Bansal said,

“We have certain projects that we are starting which is going to be focussed on Natural Language Processing and also doing more text to speech and speech to text kind of use cases.”

For instance, earlier this year, Flipkart had announced that now they will use AI to predict sales on their portal, and this was just a start.

In 2015, Flipkart has acquired 7 Labs in the Silicon Valley to focus on AI related solutions.

If we believe reports, then soon, Flipkart will start using AI to manage logistics, distribution, managing ware-house, optimizing user experience and more.

But human resource is an issue in this regard, and Flipkart has already started the process.

Right now, Flipkart has kickstarted hiring from IITs, IISc and other premier institutions to fill the gap of experts in the domain. He said,

“I believe the AI and data sciences talent pool we have in the country is too small and India needs a lot more.”, adding, “If you’re passionate about applying data sciences and AI to solve India’s unique problems, then Flipkart is one of the best places to work at in the world right now.”

You can find Sachin Bansal’s full interview over AIForIndia here.

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