It is often perceived that Automation, let alone Intelligent Automation is something of a pariah for a country like India with abundant availability of low cost manual labour. However, we should understand that time and tide does not bother to care about employment opportunities for excessive manpower. In this 21st century, we all know that Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) are beyond National boundaries and will do what it takes to optimise their operations and minimize the costs. This leaves us with no other option but to leverage and make best use of technology with a win-win outcome for the society of a developing country as well as the industry. Let us recall the all India bank employees’ strikes in late 80s and early 90s. The largely Nationalised bank labour and officer unions in those days protested against introduction of computers into the banking systems in India. They saw a computer as a threat to their employment. Can a bank employee now imagine to function without a computer in the bank? Can the Indian society imagine a bank without an ATM facility and online banking? This is a classic example of the power of automation as we grapple with the often contradictory looking paradigms of employment opportunities and automation applications.
Currently trending technologies of Automation like IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been utilized today in Banking sector for Automation in Wealth Management, Customer Support, Advanced Analytics for deeper insights of data, Fraud detection, Underwriting and many more other regular organizational processes. Business models of banks are based on lending money and collection of money in terms of returns on investments. Utilizing data in combination with machine learning algorithms, banks are able to more accurately evaluate credit risks associated with money lending including determining appropriate credit amount and rate of interest. By automating processes with in-built intelligence, banks are able to offer personalized suggestions in offering tax optimization and appropriate investments. Automation is also being utilized to cut the costs of offering services to customers. As Speech Processing and Natural Language Processing technologies are maturing, banks are and would be utilizing it to handle most of the customer queries through applications built on these technologies. With rise of utilization of technologies in business processes specifically involving financial transactions, demand to protect companies and people from fraud has also been increasing. Machine Learning applications, being capable of tracking signals in bulk and recognizing pattern deviation are gradually maturing enough to track fraud cases.
It is now being evident through various surveys and expert opinions that the companies which fail to implement technologies to automate the processes and thus reap the benefit of “Low-hanging fruits” associated with latest technologies, will eventually be facing massive competitive disadvantage. Banking is one example, other sectors such as retail, insurance, healthcare, and many others are no exceptions.
As adaption of technologies is increasing, so is the demand of skilled professionals which can develop, manage and reap the benefits of so-called “Low-hanging fruits” of these technologies in different roles and capacities.
Realizing the need to synergize students with demand of intelligent approaches and to make them understand and interpret use-cases of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT, and Robotics, a course titled Intelligent Automation was introduced during Jan-April 2019 semester at JKLU. In an unique initiative, all the B.Tech. students of several branches, viz. Computer Science Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering participated in class discussions along with the management students studying B.B.A.., and B.Com. in the university. Another course titled Business & Intelligent Machines was introduced for Pinnacle MBA students. Teaching and learning of these trans-disciplinary courses were challenging to begin with as students in India are not used to taking up the challenge of learning new things outside their core domain. But as we progressed with the real world applications and related case studies, slowly the students began to appreciate the importance of knowing about contemporary technologies as real-life situations in careers need cross-disciplinary interactions requiring at least high level knowledge of other disciplines to be effective managers. This is part of the endeavour of JK Lakshmipat University to make students life-ready by re-imagining education.
Dr. Jyoti Prakash Naidu and Dr. Sonal Jain , IET, JKLU