‘The next phase for us is AI transformation’ – The Financial Express

The Financial Express
The computing industry has undergone significant changes over the past 50 years. The world is now at the brink of another transition — data-centric computing — which will be driven by the growing prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI), says Irina Ghose, managing director, Microsoft India in an interview with Geetika Srivastava. She also discusses the company’s key drivers of growth in the Indian market, the scope of generative AI, and her vision for Cloud and data analytics offerings. Excerpts:
For over three decades, we have been partnering in India’s growth and evolution, investing heavily in skilling, infrastructure, innovation, and ecosystems — all contributing to the creation of a connected and empowered digital India. India holds immense importance as a market for Microsoft, and we are committed to supporting its digital acceleration journey.
AI is becoming a catalyst for digital transformation in the country, with the potential to add $450-500 billion to the country’s GDP by 2025. Cloud infrastructure and AI are priorities for the country’s innovation efforts, with a focus on creating responsible AI that is accountable, transparent, and inclusive.
Generative AI holds immense potential for both economic growth and inclusive development. We are partnering broadly to scale this next generation of AI to more of our customers. We have integrated generative AI capabilities into our entire enterprise and consumer product portfolios and are seeing strong demand. We have great momentum across Azure OpenAI Service. More than 11,000 organisations across industries worldwide use the service.
Microsoft is also currently working with leading banks, insurance, and financial services organisations in India to equip them with necessary AI knowledge. We are witnessing a strong demand for AI technologies from the Indian ITES sector. We have partnered with players like Tech Mahindra and HCLTech to co-develop with Microsoft AI, which can enable businesses achieve better outcomes.
In the last half-century, the computing industry has undergone three significant changes, including the mainframe era, the shift to PC-server computing, and the rise of Cloud, mobile, and the internet. Currently, we are on the brink of a fourth transition, which is data-centric computing, and it will be driven by the growing prevalence of AI.
AI offers a new tool to advance human learning and thought. Cloud computing has revolutionised how we interact with our work and surroundings, empowering individuals to live the digital revolution. With the integration of AI in the cloud, we have tremendous opportunities to leapfrog growth. The next phase for us is AI transformation, creating accelerated value for individuals and organisations alike.
Azure AI is built on Microsoft’s decades of world-class research in vision, speech, language, decision-making, and custom machine learning. In collaboration with OpenAI, we aim to provide customers with a choice based on what suits their individual needs. This partnership, known as Azure OpenAI Service, brings OpenAI’s models to Azure customers, with the enterprise benefits of Azure, including enhanced security, compliance, increased data security, and responsible AI.
With ChatGPT in preview in Azure OpenAI Service, developers can integrate custom AI-powered experiences directly into their own applications, including enhancing existing bots to handle unexpected questions, faster customer support resolutions, automating claims processing, and more.
Databricks is a unified data analytics platform that combines big data processing and machine learning capabilities. Microsoft provides Azure Databricks, which is a fully managed Azure first-party service, sold and supported directly by us. It is simple to get started with a single click and is natively integrated with related Azure services. This means that there is no integration effort involved.
Our customers use Azure Databricks to process, store, clean, share, analyse, model, and monetise their datasets with solutions from BI to machine learning. They can use the platform to build and deploy data engineering workflows, machine learning models, analytics dashboards, and more. Additionally, users can integrate OpenAI models or solutions from partners in their Databricks workflows.
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