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Microsoft introduces AI Digital Labs in 10 academic institutions in India

Software giant Microsoft on Thursday launched Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled digital labs in collaboration with 10 higher educational institutions in India. The institutes covered under this program include BITS Pilani, BML Munjal University, ISB, Kalpataru Institute of Technology, KL University, Periyar University, Karunya University, SRM University, SVKM (NMIMS) and Trident Academy of Technology.

“This collaboration aims to ramp up institutional setup along with educator capability and also provide relevant educational choices for students. It will help the students in acquiring skills needed to fill the gap emerging across India and the global economy”, the company said in a statement.

AI, Machine learning and Big Data are three of the most popular and prized career opportunities in today’s fast-paced times where most of the organizations depend on AI technologies. And while India does produce a large number of Engineers, only a few of them are actually skilled in these future-ready techs. Microsoft’s initiative is largely to accelerate that skill development learning curve.

In addition, the company is also willing to facilitate setting up of core AI infrastructure and Internet of Things (IoT) hub along with providing access to a wide range of Azure AI services like Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning (ML) and Bot Services. Training programmes designed for faculty would include workshops on Cloud computing, data sciences, AI and IoT.

According to a recent Microsoft and International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia-Pacific study, the lack of skills, resources and continuous learning programmes have emerged as the major challenges faced by Indian organisations in adopting AI to accelerate their businesses.

Speaking on the launch, Anant Maheshwari, President of Microsoft India, said,

“As AI (artificial intelligence) becomes mainstream, organisations will require talent with skill sets that are very different from what exist now. Educators and institutions are integral to the skilling revolution taking root in the country. With the right technology infrastructure, curriculum and training, we can empower today’s students to build the India of tomorrow.”

The faculty of the institutions will also get assistance in strategising content and curricula for project-based and experiential learning.

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