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Why are Indian Engineers Afraid of ‘Artificial Intelligence’?

India’s engineers are not pulling their weight

Artificial intelligenceArtificial Intelligence knows many different definitions, but in general it can be defined as a machine completing complex tasks intelligently, meaning that it mirrors human intelligence and evolves with time. is being counted among the hottest startup sectors in India this year, but the highly specialised space is struggling to grow due to the lack of a primary input: engineers.

Lack of knowledge

“Forget getting people of our choice, we don’t even get applications when we advertise for positions for our team,” said 25-year-old Tushar Chhabra, co-founder of Cron Systems, which builds internet of things-related solutions for the defence sector. “It’s as if people are scared of the words ‘artificial intelligence.’ They start freaking out when we ask them questions about .” India has over 170 startups focused purely on , which have together raised over $36 million. The sector has received validation from marquee investors like Sequoia Capital , Kalaari Capital , and business icon Ratan Tata . But entrepreneurs are struggling to expand due to a shortage of engineers with skills related to , machine , analytics, and automation.

People are a start up’s real potential

Racetrack. co-founders Subrat Parida and Navneet Gupta said that around 40% of their working time is spent searching for the right talent. The organisation, which operates out of Bengaluru, has built an -driven communication botA bot is a piece of code, which does a predefined set of actions on behalf of someone. Bots are used to manage Twitter Followers, they answer email requests or order more supplies as soon a certain item runs low. called Marvin. “People are the core strength of a startup,” Parida, also the CEO, told Quartz . “So hiring for a startup is very challenging. We are not looking for the regular tech talent and, since is a relatively new field in India, you don’t get people with past experience in working on those technologies.” Only 4% of professionals in India have actually worked on cutting-edge technologies like and neural networksNeural Networks are simplified abstract models of the human brain. Usually they have different layers and many nodes. Each layer receives input on which it carries out simple computations, and passes on the result to the next layer, by the final layer the answer to whatever problem will be produced. , which are the key ingredients for building advanced -related solutions, according to recruitment startup Belong, which often helps its clients discover and recruit professionals.

Different focus at universities

Also, many such companies require candidates with PhD degrees in -related technologies, which is rare in India. While it takes a company just a month to find a good app developer, it could take up to three months to fill up a position in the space, said Harishankaran K, co-founder and CTO of HackerRank, which helps companies hire tech talent through coding challenges. India is among the top countries in terms of the number of engineers graduating every year. But the engineering talent here has traditionally been largely focused on IT and not research and innovation […]

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