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Need national consensus on AI: Tech veterans

The letter recognised opportunities AI provides, adding that if deployed optimally and strategically, it can yield equitable and sustainable growth.

Need national consensus on AI: Tech veterans

Tuesday April 04, 2023 , 5 min Read

Hello,

AI seems to be on everyone’s agenda these days. But there are concerns as well.

In an open letter, three industry veterans raised concerns about the effects of artificial intelligence on industries and people, and called on stakeholders to arrive at a consensus on "how best to utilise this powerful technology for achieving our national goals".

Industry veterans Rajiv Kumar (former Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog), Sharad Sharma (Co-founder of iSPIRT Foundation, and Sridhar Vembu (Co-founder and CEO of Zoho) recognised the opportunities that AI provides if applied to different fields and said that if deployed optimally and strategically, it “can yield more equitable and more sustainable growth”.

Meanwhile, Eruditus became India’s second-largest revenue-grossing edtech firm after it reported an 87% increase in its operating revenue for FY22 at $245.2 million. This is higher than the FY22 revenues reported by edtech unicorns such as Unacademy, Physics Wallah, upGrad, and Vedantu

However, it is lower than the FY21 revenue reported by BYJU’S (it is yet to report its FY22 numbers). Among the edtech unicorns, only PhysicsWallah (PW) reported profits in FY22—Rs 97.8 crore, up 14-fold from Rs 6.93 crore in the previous fiscal.

Oh, and did you know it’s been exactly 50 years since the mobile phone revolution took off? It was on April 3, 1973, that Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made the first-ever call from a portable, handheld device to the company’s arch-rival in Bell Labs.

And look how far we’ve come.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Swiggy CTO Dale Vaz steps down
  • Ensuring access to tech education
  • Dubai hospitality with a personal touch

Here’s your trivia for today: Which was the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film?


Foodtech

Swiggy CTO Dale Vaz steps down

Foodtech startup Swiggy's CTO Dale Vaz stepped down from his role and will continue in the company as an advisor. Madhusudhan Rao, Senior Vice President for consumer technology and fintech at the company, will take over the position.

Recent developments:

  • Karthik Gurumurthy, Head of Instamart, recently announced that he would take a sabbatical. SuprDaily CEO Phani Kishan Addepalli will lead the vertical.
  • US investment firm Invesco slashed Swiggy's valuation from $10.7 billion to $8 billion in October last year citing tough market conditions.
  • The foodtech giant ceded some market share to rival Zomato due to the latter's uptick in Gold membership signups, as per an HSBC report.


Funding Alert

Startup: DMI Finance

Amount: $400M

Round: Equity

Startup: Avanti Finance

Amount: $24M

Round: Series B

Startup: CometChat

Amount: Rs 40 Cr

Round: Debt


Inspiration

Ensuring access to tech education

Rising from poverty and studying under extreme hardships, Sathya Sundaram Chellaramasamy realised early on that education was the only way out. He earned a BSc degree in Computer Science, worked for Mahindra Satyam, and in 2013, joined Broadridge India. He is currently a Technology Architect at the firm.

Giving back:

  • He started an NGO, Honey Kings Educational & Charitable Trust, to support students near his village.
  • Through Broadridge India's CSR initiatives, laptops and desktops were distributed to five schools in Theni, Tamil Nadu.
  • Chellaramasamy also leads the Next-Gen College Library initiative, under which students can borrow laptops from the library and take them home like books.
Sathya Sundaram


Startup

Dubai hospitality with a personal touch

Started by Vinayak Mahtani during the pandemic, bnbme Holiday Homes serves as an aggregator of apartment properties for guests to rent. The company customises properties according to where the visitors come from, and offers properties based on experiences.

Services:

  • BNBME Holiday Homes handles 150 properties across Dubai.
  • The properties can range from $100 per night to $10,000 per night, depending on the locality and services.
  • The team takes care of the maintenance of the property, marketing, getting bookings, and managing guests’ experience.
BnB Holiday Homes


News & updates

  • Sour mood: Japan’s business sentiment remained unhappy in January-March to hit the worst level in more than two years, as per a Bank of Japan survey. Many firms are complaining of the rising raw material and fuel costs, slowing overseas growth, and slumping chip demand.
  • To the moon: NASA unveiled the crew for Artemis 2 lunar mission that will send astronauts around the moon after nearly 50 years. Cristina Hammock Koch will become the first woman to fly to the moon.
  • TikTok ban: Australia is all set to ban TikTok from its government-issued devices over security concerns. The move follows the US, Canada, New Zealand, and the European Union prohibiting government employees from having TikTok on work-issued devices.


Which was the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film?

Answer: Flowers and Trees by Walt Disney


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