What impact can AI make in a developing country like Nepal?
Nepal, Like other countries is affected by all the latest innovations in technology. How can a developing country like ours benefit from AI? This is not an easy question to answer. It depends on many factors and mostly on the government’s policy on IT and related fields.
Nepal can benefit from this too, especially in Farming, Health Care, Resource provision, transportation, Electricity and so on. How can this be achieved depends on the policy adopted by the Government and the private sectors investing in the field of AI? There are some private companies already operating here in the field of AI.
As far as the implementation of AI in products is concerned, there are a few companies. Insight Workshop, is one I know of , that too works on NLP and has developed Nepali Spell Checker among several others that has found it’s market in the National Publication Houses.
There is a robot at NSBI Durbar Marg, Pari, it is a form of artificial intelligence. It can detect whenever a human is within close proximity, can answer your queries.
Some websites have live support, done in the form of text messaging, this is also a form of artificial intelligence.
As Nepal maynot be in the top notch artificial intelligence expertise, but still there’s limited AI –and . Paaila Technology is a Robotics and AI company which has a clear objective of building world class robots that add value to businesses they’re deployed at. It goes without saying that world class robots will be powered by AI. The following technologies used in robots are AI powered:
- Autonomous Navigation for robots so that they do not require human assistance and can navigate around autonomously.
- Nepali Speech Recognition and Synthesis to empower natural conversation with humans.
- Computer Vision to understand the environment around robot. High end robots will be powered with face recognition and object detection technologies.
Developing AI tools for robots, Paaila has amassed AI expertise and is actively expanding its’ AI team. It also aims at helping Nepali companies integrate AI into their products and services to increase their value to customers.
In recent years, the adoption rate of Artificial Intelligence in Nepal has been steadily growing with new companies being established around AI. Kharpann Enterprises is one of such AI companies which has recently completed its first year of operation in Nepal.
In a talk published on Kharpann’s YouTube channel, Mr Pragyan Subedi, the CEO of Kharpann talks about the mindset behind infusing AI into a tech-product. The talk revolves around the mental framework that one should have while trying to incorporate AI into a tech-product. Have a look:
Don’t innovate for the sake of innovation – Same goes for AI
Mr Subedi opens up his talk anchoring on a quote by Peter Drucker who is famously known for his management theory.
A business should always focus on its customers and failing to do so means failing to pursue the right innovation.
According to Mr Guy Kawasaki, the Chief Evangelist at Canva, the refrigeration industry which has bloomed today is a result of customer-focused innovation that occurred in the ice industry. Hundreds of years ago, people used to depend on polar ice harvesting companies to buy ice but now, people make ice at the comfort of their own homes.
The same goes for AI. If a company is looking to innovate its tech-product using AI, they should have tangible metrics to measure how they are giving value to their customers.
Should a tech-product adopt AI for innovation?
This is another question that gets answered in the talk.
Whenever a company is trying to innovate, they should know that AI has limited use cases. Thus, one should be wary if their innovation actually needs an AI solution or not (Mr Subedi states this as a statistical solution).
An example of an AI solution is search engines, where, companies like Google use search engagement data to generate better search results. AI solutions for businesses mostly depend on user data modelling and thus, if your tech-product doesn’t need such kind of solution, it may be wise to innovate without the use of AI.
Also, the AI solution should bring value to a business’ key point indicators (KPIs) while also bring value to a customer. If there are no tangible results that can be seen from the adoption of AI to the business, then, such innovation may be of more harm than good.
It is always important to have the right mindset behind taking any kind of business decision and this talk encapsulates that well. It is high time that our policymakers have concrete plans on the use of digital technology for the realization of #DigitalNepal. AI can help boost the economy as well as provide better service delivery. The achievement is guaranteed with changes in small scale but with concrete planning. AI will also be vital in making our lives better in days to come.