Hindustan Times (Noida)

New frontiers of the tech space

- Rashmi Nagpal letters@hindustant­imes.com The author is a software engineer based in Silicon Valley and Plaksha Tech Leaders Fellow 2020

Research from the Harvard Business Review indicated that most of the data-driven firms, nearly three-fourths of them, don’t have a set data culture, which implies a lack of actionable workflows, tools, and human resources to translate data into meaningful data business-oriented ideas. A 2019 report from Gartner shows that enterprise applicatio­ns for AI have grown 270% in four years, fuelling a level of demand that outstrips the current supply of qualified job candidates. Hence, the need of the hour is the pursuit of artificial intelligen­cebased data-driven transforma­tional initiative­s. AI is revolution­izing so many fields, like advancing in autonomous vehicles, finance and security, healthcare, generative modelling, reinforcem­ent learning, and various other applicatio­ns. It has tremendous applicatio­n utility and power to solve unimaginab­le real-world problems. For example, Amazon, a multibilli­on tech giant, has reinvented the business with the help of an operating model by digital harvesting solutions, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligen­ce. Apart from that, various trends that have burgeoned in AI include building trustworth­y, explainabl­e, and ethical AI systems, building pragmatic AI models to solve targeted industry-specific business problems.

When the pandemic hit the world, fellowship and bootcamp programs became more indispensa­ble than ever before during these incredibly challengin­g times. Not only these programs aid in building a wide-ranging portfolio of projects and applicatio­ns in artificial intelligen­ce, data analytics, but also a wide array of skills applicable to build tech leaders of tomorrow. According to a Research & Markets report, the online education market is projected to reach $350 billion by 2025; hence there will be a significan­t surge in online learning programs, tools, and virtual tutoring programs. Studies show that, on average, students retain 25-60% coursework when learning online compared to traditiona­l teaching methods. Neverthele­ss, the effectiven­ess of online learning programs is directly proportion­al to the captivatin­g curriculum designed.

The program I was enrolled in aims to teach fellows how to solve real-world problems through interdisci­plinary approaches. Guest lectures from VCS, Angel Investors are enriching opportunit­ies for students to develop an entreprene­urial spirit. Data-x courses in artificial intelligen­ce bridge the gap between theory and practice. Combining state-of-the-art tools and innovative processes draws a path for students to implement AI systems in real life. Since the Plaksha TLF curriculum is industry-driven, it teaches students in-demand skills through real-world applicatio­n. While the capstone project prepares students-cumtech-leaders for tomorrow, deep business and technical skills, design, agile execution, technology, and entreprene­urial behaviour. Importance is also given to forward learning culture amongst fellows.

They continuall­y take small experiment­s and re-invest until they succeed, which is of utmost importance for the holistic developmen­t of an individual. With a cherry on top, every student is paired with a mentor, who serves as a trusted ally by offering constructi­ve feedback, encouragem­ent, a sense of fulfilment, and boosting interperso­nal skills.

If classes taught students how to play soccer like the way complex topics are taught in universiti­es, it would be a miracle to say that students have developed into world-class soccer players. However, the problem is no one in the classes has ever played or hit the ball! Hence, the need for the hour is to immerse oneself in experienti­al learning - where students are first made to hit the ball and, secondly, have to find ways to improve. In other words, apart from just being opened to theoretica­l concepts from professors - they are also made to solve challengin­g time-bound real-life applicatio­n-based projects. One key learning in this approach is that it helps students build innovative behaviour since implementa­tionbased knowledge drives one to ponder the insightful story they intend to develop. On similar lines, in real life, every innovation or venture begins with a captivatin­g narrative, further aided with a super-light prototype, which is modified until it is market-ready to solve a consumer problem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India