Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have taken the tech world by storm over the past 3-4 years. In India, however, AI innovation is restricted to a handful of deeptech startups despite AI becoming an industry buzzword. Deeptech startups are stuck in a vicious cycle thanks to lack of AI training options, where they do not attract funding without enough innovation, and innovation isn’t possible without the right talent.
So naturally, the big effort in upskilling and reskilling platforms these days is around unearthing more AI talent and training engineers in new-age tech such as AI, ML and other deeptech principles.
And now, two IIT-Madras-incubated startups have pledged to create 1 Lakh experts in AI and ML by 2020 through a joint venture, which focusses on training Indian students, faculty and engineers.
GUVI, an edtech platform for students to learn in regional languages, is collaborating with One Fourth Labs, which offers advanced AI courses at affordable fees. Students will be able to comprehend complicated concepts with relative ease thanks to the localisation and can acquire problem-solving skills by learning AI programming and applications.
Bringing AI Training To Tier 2, 3
The main objective of the joint venture is to ensure that the prerequisites to learn AI and other new-age tech is as minimal as possible so that more students are able to enroll. Anyone with a strong base in high school mathematics and programming language Python can enroll.
The six-month completely online programme is priced at INR 1,000 for students and faculty, and INR 5,000 for working professionals. The course is also divided into four stages comprising a total of 15 courses. Learners receive certificates on completion of every stage.
According to a report in the Economic Times, which quoted GUVI cofounder and CEO SP Balamurugan, IIT-Madras professors have created the course content and contests will be conducted with the best candidates rewarded through the platform. “The learning history of the individual will be maintained as part of his GUVI profile which the users can share with the Employers. The platform is gamified to keep learners attentive and to ensure the learners complete the course,” Balamurugan was quoted as saying.
GUVI believes that no two learners can grasp concepts in the same manner, so learners can customise the training based on their learning speed and pattern. The platform is also using AI to customise the learning path and progression after observing the daily learning activity.
The integrated ed-tech platform offers technical skills and training in regional languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali and Arabic, which are in great demand in the tech industry. The startup also has a deep penetration in Tier 2 and 3 cities thanks to the local language support for its AI training and learning modules.
GUVI claims to be present in over 1,000 engineering colleges and to have trained more than 1.5 Lakh engineers in relevant programming skills such as Java, Python, Java and technology such as machine learning, neural networks and more. “This first iteration of our course was a resounding success with extraordinary feedback from participants. We want to take this course to a much larger audience while maintaining affordability,” said Mitesh Khapra, cofounder, One Fourth Labs. Khapra is also a faculty member of the department of computer science and engineering at IIT Madras.