When we see the machines helping mankind without writing explicit software but through learning, just like we humans have learnt – it is totally path-breaking, says, Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, NVIDIA, South Asia
How are deep learning and AI revolutionizing computing and where do you see the geospatial industry fitting into this?
Deep learning is changing all the impossible scenarios that the traditional software coding used to be challenged of. Earlier, the domain expert would decide what they perceived and then formulated it, and based on that a software code was written. But now, you look at the patterns, images, look at what is happening around, and through that experience, you try and identify what needs to be done.
For example, in Agartala, India, a landslide yielded 55 days of blockage. In times such as today getting blocked for 55 days incurs huge costs and challenges to an economy. Nevertheless, if the pattern of the landslide could had been figured out earlier, where you knew that because of deforestation, Climate Change, the river changing pattern, there is going to be a landslide, the entire route could be rerouted. That is the difference the new age is making.
How would artificial intelligence help us solve bigger human problems?
The biggest problems of the humanity are going to be solved through deep learning. AI in its third resurgence is getting solved for two reasons — first, there is humongous amount of data available that can be made sense of; second, the graphic processing units (GPUs) are able to crunch this data enormously well. These two combinations are helping us to solve problems that we couldn’t do from a traditional perspective.
Is AI a threat to jobs; especially in a labor intensive country like India?
When industrial revolution started, people talked about job losses. Every time there is a technology shift, people talk about it. Humans are God’s greatest creation — someone who has always evolved and changed. We have up-skilled ourselves to do something more than the things we have done. So, god made us, we made things, and there will always be that chemistry between the entire chain. Humanity will evolve and nobody needs to be scared of what will happen to them. Why should AI take away jobs? It’s going to make your life better. That is what our ultimate goal is — making lives better. But, we definitely need to re-skill ourselves.
Developed countries and even China is now ready for automation. Where does India fit into this?
India is talking about autonomous vehicles. Currently, people are deliberating differently; for instance automation in factories, farms, autonomous vehicles that can understand the soil chemistry. They are talking about use of automated vehicles in a controlled environment. I am sure that very soon we will see autonomous vehicles on Indian roads as well. I look at this as a great opportunity for India where many things will change rapidly.
What according to you are the roadblocks?
I believe it depends upon what situation they are talking about. The big thing of course is regulation. The government needs to get involved and regulations have to allow it. Will vehicles be ready? Definitely. Vehicles that are coming up internationally will be ready very soon. We are already seeing Tesla, Daimler, Audi talk about it. All these auto companies are already there in the Indian market. So, I believe it’s a global place. Automation should happen pretty much at the same time, when the rest of the world adopts it. It is up to us, as government, as citizens, when we want to accept it.
Do you think that the current times are quite path-breaking?
It is absolutely path-breaking. When we see the machines helping mankind without writing explicit software but through learning, just like we have learnt, it is totally path-breaking. Now the application does not only belong to a domain expert, or to a person who writes code but it is available to everyone who can use it. The application has become much more democratized. That is why it is absolutely path-breaking, and it is even more critical to India.
I am sure that very soon we will see autonomous vehicles on Indian roads. I look at this as a great opportunity for India where many things will change rapidly
Where does NVIDIA fit into the change?
Deep learning is at the heart of NVIDIA. We are an AI computing company. We have devoted all our strengths, our resources, our power, towards artificial intelligence. Specifically from a deep learning perspective, we are making sure that the awareness level at every grass root is at its maximum. We are working with educational institutes, researchers, starters, developers, and we are working with the industry to make sure that all of us understand, how applicable this is. The scale is mammoth and the opportunity is immense.