Not only is it planning on introducing more consumer-facing innovations, it is working with top talent to see these projects through.

Inside Reliance Jios attempts at Artificial Intelligence
Atom AI Saturday, July 07, 2018 - 11:11

Reliance has been going all out when it comes to AI and its implications for the future. Under the leadership of Akash Ambani, Reliance is making strides in AI this year. The young leader is hiring the brightest minds in the country to create an area of excellence that can impact the telecom market in a huge way.

The team at Reliance is also looking at applications under machine learning and blockchain so that the company can benefit from its potential. The company is taking advantage of the multi-billion-dollar opportunity that lies in the AI space in India. With major software companies working on this, Reliance is hoping to convert AI into a B2B business as well.

“Globally, Artificial Intelligence is becoming one of the mainstream technologies and voice assistance, recognition and command are growing on a daily basis in terms of usage,” Akash Ambani is quoted as saying.

What started as a business decision last year, emerged as a clear product for B2B side of the brand. Companies can leverage JioInteract to promote their message using AI chat. JioInteract is the world’s first AI-based video call, which can understand input from various languages. Customers can interact with companies directly via video, while the software decodes the query and produces a message.

Through JioInteract you can create virtual salespeople, provide interactive experiences to your customers, and engage with more than 180 million 4G users under the Jio Network. This truly has been one of the few AI-activated innovations to come out in recent memory. It launched during the promotion of the movie 102 Not Out with Amitabh Bachchan. Fans could ask the superstar anything they liked, and the AI software could decode the meaning behind the query.

The most interesting part about JioInteract is that the software learns over time. The more input it receives, in other words the more people using it, the better weighted outputs it can produce. The system simultaneously runs various iterations until it gives you the right answer each time. That’s the best part about having a vast network of users in your customer base. You can introduce new AI innovations that learn over time.

However, Reliance isn’t the only one trying to enter the AI and ML space. Another telecom giant, Airtel, is making steady progress simultaneously. They’ve hired former NASA executive Santanu Bhattacharya as a chief data scientist to push innovation in the areas of AI, VR and IoT. Through this, Airtel is hoping to compete with Jio and international players on the same platform.

Both companies are going all out to produce new AI innovation in the marketplace. From hiring the right teams to understanding customer demand, the companies are preparing to give international companies tougher competition. Right now, the strategy for going for scale is making even more sense. With greater scale comes upselling opportunities and better consumer engagement strategies. While capturing a larger base is the right approach for Reliance, it may not work as well for other brands.

AI requires scale to work more efficiently, which is why Reliance has been working on it this year. Not only is it planning on introducing more consumer-facing innovations, it is working with top talent to see these projects through. Google, Amazon and Apple are also trying to enter India through AI and machine learning, however the challenges they face will be different from local players.

It may boil down to a quality and output-focused solutions for Indian businesses. With the scale that Jio has developed over the years, it may be more suited to work with them than international players.

Jio has also been designing the road map for JioCoin, which will be based on blockchain technology. Akash Ambani is also said to be leading that project, so as to ultimately combine various solutions into one overarching AI blockchain push. JioCoin could work in the favour of Jio due to the scale developed in the field. Since cryptocurrencies require massive number of customers, Jio may have the upper hand as it controls a large chunk of the Indian customer base.

Since customers love banking and interacting via their phones, Jio could launch cryptocurrencies, AI enabled solutions and much more and push it via their vast network. Scale is one of the biggest enablers for Jio at this point, making them a true contender for AI leadership in India.

With the introduction of VCBaaS (Video Call Bot as a Service), Jio is planning on being an interactive media platform as well. Since the competition in the content space is rising, telecom providers are looking at interactive solutions to enhance their overall offering. Jio is no different in this case and will aim to offer as many value-added benefits as it can via its network. From subsidized phones to new currency wallets, Jio will be pushing harder on AI in the years to come.

All views expressed are Author's own.

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