[TechSparks 2020] Mohamed El Geish of Cisco on the top trends and the future of AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as the key technology platform in the world of computing, and the expectation is that it would dramatically change for the better on how we live in the days to come.
A connected world through the internet has only enhanced the scope of AI as the availability of data and computing power provides the platform to come out with better solutions, which is going to be beneficial for everybody.
At TechSparks 2020, YourStory’s flagship event, Mohamed El Geish, Director of AI at Cisco, held a masterclass on the topic - Trends in AI for 2020-2030.
While he remarked that it would be an extremely difficult task to make predictions on the future roadmap of AI, the past history can serve as a guiding light, he said.
“The key pillars which make up an AI solution are people element, data, and compute power,” said Mohamed, while speaking at the 11th edition of TechSparks.
Mix of data and compute
Today, there is lot more compute power available on devices, where the smartphone sometimes carries more processing power than a conventional PC. This also reveals the kind of progress that hardware has made over the decades to enable complex calculations.
However, the big growth in the availability of data has actually given a major push for the development of AI.
“Digitisation has given a push where there are a lot more devices which are connected and also talking to each other,” he said.
According to the Cisco executive, with all these signals coming out of these devices, there is humongous amount of data available, which allows technologies like AI to come up with interesting outcomes.
However, Mohamed feels there is also the big question of data privacy and how much one can use this personal information to safeguard privacy.
Even though there are laws like GDPR to protect the data of individuals, Mohamed said, “We need good laws for all and more regulations are underway.”
The biggest danger of a platform like AI is that the data available can also be used as a weapon.
Mohamed was of the view there should be clear demarcation on what kind of personal data can be used by AI so as to safeguard privacy of an individual.
ML and NLP
Given this background, there are advances which have been made in the area of machine learning (ML), where the computer learns on its own without being programmed to perform certain tasks.
However, Mohamed said machine learning is still restricted to a few domains like information technology, software, and bioinformatics, though there is plenty of scope to expand this to other areas.
“In the future, everybody needs to understand about ML, big data, and the kind of benefits they bring to the table,” said Mohamed.
The other subsect of AI is the area of natural language processing (NLP). Though in its infancy, NLP also holds strong promise as it tries to understand human languages and come out with automated solutions, he said.
Mohamed was of the opinion that the advancement of NLP will depend a lot on cross-pollination with different subjects.
“We have somehow mastered the science of writing codes, but still somewhat clueless about AI & data sets,” Mohamed said.
His advice to individuals and businesses is that people need to look for what kind of skills they are going to acquire to make themselves relevant. On the other hand, businesses need to prepare themselves for the various advancements of AI.
However, Mohamed said all this will be possible only if there is a collaborative effort from all the participants of the AI ecosystem where there is free exchange of information on the kind of progress that this platform has made.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)
TechSparks - YourStory's annual flagship event - has been India's largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we've received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020.