Contrary to popular perception, not just companies, even the government is harnessing big data and machine learning to push policies, according to non-executive chairman of Infosys Technologies Nandan Nilekani.
Speaking at an event organised by the All India Management Association (AIMA) on Thursday, Nilekani, former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said data and its applications were growing in unprecedented ways.
“Companies are accumulating data thanks to smartphone usage. Tomorrow, as every device and car has a sensor, data applications is going to be even bigger than what it is today. On the other hand, the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence are enabling companies to use this data to make all kinds of predictions and judgements,” Nilekani said.
He added the government may be one of the first users of some of these things. “The Goods and Services Tax system has 11 million businesses and every B2B business is filing returns at an invoice level. Therefore, the government can use that database to detect fraud or to figure out how to give credit,” Nilekani said.
AIMA is the national apex body of the management profession in India. Addressing India Inc, Nilekani also warned of a major requirement of change in attitude to cope with transformations currently underway in most sectors.
For instance, the automobile industry is facing three separate unilateral moves — push towards electric engines, the gradual reliance on self driving vis-a-vis people driving vehicles, and a focus on shared cars as opposed to owned cars, he pointed out. Nilekani also handed over the AIMA Awards 2018. Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, has been awarded the AIMA Public Service Excellence Award while HDFC Bank Managing Director Aditya Puri received the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award.