The scene begins with an otherwise shy Dr Raj Koothrappali welcoming his guests to a dinner party he’s co-hosting with his new-found friend. He enthusiastically shares details on how his co-host helped narrow down the grocer for the meal ingredients, the perfect wine and playlist for the night. All was fine till his unassuming guests inquired about the co-host only to discover it was none other than Apple’s digital personal assistant, Siri! Dr Koothrappali, the introvert, had found solace in a bot that was supported by artificial intelligence. While that scene belonged to a 2012 episode from the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, the likelihood of something similar playing out in 2017 at your own friend’s dinner party is quite high.
Artificial intelligence-supported bots are the apps of today and start-ups are busy brushing up their machine and deep learning skills to help you find that perfect smart companion for all your needs. To begin with, artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that is related to developing machines that are capable of human-like intelligent behaviour. Machine learning is a program created to train the device using troves of available data and deep learning is an advanced form of it that has gained popularity in the last few years.
As per data provided by research firm Tracxn Technologies, the number of AI-based start-ups in India has risen from a measly seven in 2011 to around 300 till April 2017. And it also states that the amount raised by such start-ups has increased from $0.22 million in 2013 to $20.50 million thus far this year. While the core technology remains the same, different start-ups are applying this for multiple purposes by focusing on processing and analysing different forms of data — text, audio, video, images, etc.
Chatbot-based digital assistants are the most common application of deep learning deployed by Indian start-ups. Apart from assisting the user in a format that is easy to interact with, it helps to eliminate the need for other apps. Storage crunch on smartphones is a reality today