AI, blockchain and cloud-based apps will be most trans­for­ma­tive in ’19: IBM’S Natara­jan

Mint ST - - LONG STORY - Nan­dita Mathur nan­[email protected] NEW DELHI

Subram Natara­jan, chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer of IBM In­dia/south Asia, shares his thoughts on dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies like AI (ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence), blockchain and 5G, and their im­pact on com­pa­nies. Edited ex­cerpts:

On AI (ma­chine learn­ing, deep learn­ing), blockchain, IOT, AR-VR, 3D print­ing, au­to­ma­tion and ro­bot­ics.

All emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies will make an im­pact in 2019 but AI, blockchain and cloud­based ap­pli­ca­tions will be the most trans­for­ma­tive across all in­dus­tries.

IBM de­fines AI as “aug­mented in­tel­li­gence”, be­cause its true value lies not in repli­cat­ing hu­man in­tel­li­gence but com­ple­ment­ing it. And in do­ing so, it will do more than re­de­fine how the world works—it will ex­pand what peo­ple are able to work on, open­ing up en­tirely new av­enues of in­no­va­tion, ex­plo­ration, dis­cov­ery and in­dus­try. AI will also cre­ate new mar­kets and com­pa­nies, while trans­form­ing ex­ist­ing en­ter­prises and gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions from top to bot­tom.

Blockchain is a trans­for­ma­tive tech­nol­ogy with the po­ten­tial to change busi­ness trans­ac­tions the same way the in­ter­net changed com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the 1990s. Cloud will con­tinue to play a sig­nif­i­cant role as a foun­da­tional tech­nol­ogy that piv­ots busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion of en­ter­prises.

GDPR’S im­pact on com­pa­nies in In­dia Or­ga­ni­za­tions need to view it as a chance to stream­line their data man­age­ment ap­proaches, by cut­ting down on the amount of per­sonal data they keep, re­duc­ing the num­ber of peo­ple who have ac­cess to per­sonal data and dis­pos­ing off data that is no longer needed. This “clean-up” process sets them up for longert­erm ef­fi­ciency and opens up an op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate more per­son­al­ized prod­ucts and ser­vices—fos­ter­ing deeper re­la­tion­ships with their cus­tomers and clients.

Do you see a vis­i­ble shift to 5G in 2019? From an en­duser per­spec­tive, there may not be vis­i­ble changes in 2019. There is plenty of work that needs to get done be­fore the roll-out. Niche ser­vices that sur­round 5G need sev­eral ecosys­tem play­ers to trans­form them­selves to be ready for 5G ser­vices.

On Dig­i­tal In­dia

There has been re­mark­able strides with this pro­gramme. The reach of the in­ter­net to ru­ral In­dia as the ar­te­rial ini­tia­tive has al­lowed de­liv­ery of var­i­ous gov­ern­ment ser­vices dig­i­tally. I am sure the im­pact of these dig­i­tally de­liv­ered citi- zen’s ser­vices were ex­pe­ri­enced by us across the ar­eas of gov­ern­ment func­tions, fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions, tax­a­tions, etc.

Do you think AI will im­pact jobs?

AI will help hu­man be­ings to do their re­spec­tive jobs much more ef­fi­ciently. The goal of AI is to aug­ment in­tel­li­gence–not re­place it. There are still sig­nif­i­cant lim­its to what cog­ni­tive tech­nolo­gies can do, es­pe­cially in the area of de­ci­sion-mak­ing. AI is a tool, and like all tools it just am­pli­fies the work that peo­ple do. Se­cu­rity chal­lenges

The key learn­ing that most ma­ture or­ga­ni­za­tions fol­low is to al­ways be vig­i­lant and take ac­tion on the up­dates that come from se­cu­rity ex­perts. Cre­at­ing and main­tain­ing an in­ci­dent re­sponse plan is key to a quick re­cov­ery from any se­cu­rity in­ci­dent. It is be­com­ing the norm for en­ter­prises to pro­vide ad­e­quate se­cu­rity train­ing not only to em­ploy­ees but also to sup­pli­ers and oth­ers who work with the com­pany.

CTO BYTE

Subram Natara­jan, CTO, IBM In­dia/south Asia.

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