Global Certificate in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (GCDAI) is one of INSAID’s new courses. GCDAI focuses on building Data Leaders who will command the field of artificial intelligence in the years to come. The course spans over 11 months, is divided into 11 terms and is conducted by some of the Top Data Science Mentors in India.
Before we commence with this new course, we sat down with Suchit Majumdar, the Chief Data Scientist and Architect of the GCDAI Curriculum, to address some common concerns of students and understand the vision of the program. An ISB Hyderabad Alumni, Suchit is one of the top 20 Data Science Academicians in India!
Malvika: How do you think AI has evolved over the last few years in India and where do you see it headed?
Suchit: Data science has already started seeping into a lot of companies nowadays and AI is just a natural progression after the data science. When data science is in place then the next obvious step is AI.
So India is definitely headed towards becoming an AI superpower, but yes a lot of people are required in the workforce to help India reach there. Right now we’re trying to find a way up to the top, we have a lot of potential, we have a lot of smart people, we have a lot of people already in AI; we just need to expand the workforce to place India right at the top spot.
Malvika: What are some current trends in AI that you think will become key drivers across businesses and industries?
Suchit: Currently there are two primary use cases that I can see; one is making the computer see and the second one is making the computer understand.
When I say making the computer see, it’s more about Computer Vision, so how does a computer perceive objects the way a human perceives?
How can I make computers identify cars, identify places or identify people? So that is something that is going to grow exponentially over the coming years, especially with companies trying to automate a lot of that up.
Now, let’s consider when you’re manufacturing soap bars, and the bar dimensions should be 4×5. Usually you have scales and expensive equipment to measure the dimensions and make sure your soaps are meeting the criteria.
A cheaper solution to this would be to set up a camera at a certain angle that can actually take photos of each of these soap bars, and that is way cheaper, way faster and way more accurate. With these kind of solutions you can save the company a lot of money.
The next one is understanding. So understanding in terms of understanding language. So this is called a natural language processing. NLP is another important field growing in AI. Especially with a lot of companies today working on NLP based products, because that’s how humans understand things and communicate.
Consider that I don’t want to read an entire article but I do want to see a quick summary of it. NLP can help me here, I don’t have to go through the entire article, NLP can summarize the article for me and offer a crisp insight into what the article talks about.
Likewise there are plenty of such use cases: something that people use very often is language transmitter or Google translator. Now a wonderful application is that when you’re traveling abroad or even within India, traveling to different places, you can actually end up talking to people without knowing their language.
You can talk in the language that you know, Google will translate that for you, share it with the person who understands the language, and then let the person again revert in their language and translate it to help you understand it in your language. This is how AI is solving big problems for human beings. Definitely Computer Vision and NLP are to watch out for in the upcoming years.
Malvika: What are the stand-out benefits of the GCDAI course at INSAID?
Suchit: The GCDAI course is very comprehensive, it takes its own time of 11 months. Primarily because it not only helps you understand the space of Python, statistics, applied data science because once you understand that, you are all the more knowledgeable to understand AI.
So once you get done with data science, moving on to GCDAI will solidify your entire learning process and solidify your understanding of AI. The truth is that not too many people in the workforce currently have this breadth of knowledge. The topics that you’re going to follow in this program, can be a lot for people to carry.
Once you’ve already learnt GCDAI, you will obviously stand out from the crowd because having ideas about so many topics in the AI field that in itself is very valuable to a lot of companies.
Malvika: Since GCDAI is a relatively new course here at INSAID, do you want to talk about your vision behind this brainchild?
Suchit: So learning data science is difficult in India but learning Artificial Intelligence is all the more difficult due to lack of proper resources.
Now, the reason why we came up with the idea of GCDAI was we knew that eventually as data science keeps growing, we will move out of machine learning and get into AI over the next few years.
Now the challenge of getting into AI was that a lot of people understand only AI without knowing the true concepts of machine learning. So there are a lot of underlying concepts of machine learning that people would want to know before they learn AI. It’s not that you cannot learn AI directly but having a sound knowledge of machine learning will only make your life easier when you pursue AI.
So the idea that we had was that we wanted a very well thought-out process, we wanted to have a very well curated journey for our customers. We wanted everybody to know that at every point of their journey, what are the things that they should master so that eventually, by the time they would’ve completed GCDAI, they would end up at the top 5% of the AI crowd for sure.
We want INSAID students to be right there at the top. There are not many people who have this breadth of skills but at the same time these skills interrelate to each other, they understand how they are built upon each other and how they relate to each other; so this was the vision behind creating GCDAI.
We wanted people to not only master the machine learning space but also master the AI space. Every company wants that one employee who understands such a wide breadth of topics.
This ends Part 1 of our GCDAI Q&A series with Chief Data Scientist Suchit Majumdar. Watch this space as we continue the discussion about data science and AI with our data maverick! Let us know about your queries in the comments section!