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TWTW Weekly Wrap Up: 22-28 Jan

"Generative AI will be the driving force behind the adoption of AI in everyday life." — Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra

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Last Week’s Latest

  • Shutterstock and OpenAI announced a partnership to help develop OpenAI’s Dall-E 2 artificial intelligence image-generating platform with Shutterstock libraries to train and feed the algorithm,.
  • Gemba, an enterprise-focused virtual reality (VR) training startup used by some of the world’s biggest companies, has raised USD 18 million in a Series A round of funding.
  • Shutterstock Introduces Generative AI to its All-In-One Creative Platform.
  • Honda is establishing a division dedicated to the development of electric vehicles and other electrical products including storage and generation, the company said.
  • Microsoft partners with global solar leader Qcells to curb carbon emissions.
  • EAM Jaishankar meets special advisor to Japan PM, tech, collaboration in third market figure in talks.
  • BharOS: Made-In-India operating system For smartphones successfully tested.
  • Upekkha Value SaaS Accelerator invested in 41 early-stage startups and will invest close to 60 more in 2023.
  • Amazon has launched Amazon Air, its dedicated air cargo fleet, in India as the e-commerce giant bulks up its logistics infrastructure in the key overseas market where it has deployed more than USD 6.5 billion.
  • Google to make changes to Android business terms in India after antitrust order.

Focused story of the Week #1: BharOS – A potential game changer in India’s digital revolution

At a time when the Indian government is said to be eager to compete with Google in developing the country's own mobile operating system, JandK Operations (JandKops), incubated by IIT-Madras' Pravartak Technologies Foundation, has developed BharOS, a mobile operating system that can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets. The government's support for BharOS demonstrates India's desire to establish a localised competitor to Silicon Valley operating systems. It is apparent that India is following in China's footsteps in establishing its own domestic IT sector to fuel the economy.

However, many doubts remain regarding BharOS and if it can emerge as a serious contender. Creating a brand new operating system is a massive undertaking. BharOS appears to be a derivative of Android rather than an alternative. It no longer has access to the Google Play Store, which is the primary method by which most Android users get apps for their devices. BharOS will not include Google Play Protect, software that protects Android smartphones from viruses.

With that being said, developing a homegrown OS is a sign from India to the world that the country is now willing to take up a leadership role in tech across all spheres. A homegrown OS will allow for building ecosystems around it, and allow space for more innovation which might be replicated by other OS producers across the world. While there is work to be done, the foundation for a tech driven economy has been laid.

"Serious competitor or not, BharOS has the potential for enabling India to make strides in the world of technology."

Focused Story of the Week #2: Generative AI – The next step in the AI journey?

Although artificial intelligence has been around for a long time, it has recently gained significant public attention as a result of the launch of generative AI platforms like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and DALLE 2. Earlier, machines had little prospect of competing with humans until recently in creative work. But the ability of machines to generate sensible and beautiful objects is beginning to improve. 

Generative AI is well on its way to surpassing hand-crafted artwork in some instances, not just in terms of speed and cost. Every sector that depends on people producing creative work, such as social networking, gaming, advertising, architecture, etc., is open to reinvention. While generative AI has the potential to replace some tasks, others are more likely to benefit from a close adaptive creative relationship between humans and machines. 

Generative AI is still in its development, nevertheless. The application space is only getting started, whereas the platform layer is just beginning to mature. Despite the potential of generative AI, there are still many issues with business models and technology that need to be resolved. Important problems like copyright, trust and safety, and costs are still up for debate.

It's simple to envision a future where generative AI is deeply ingrained in how we work, create, and play if we allow ourselves to fantasise many decades into the future. While some of these experiences might currently seem like science fiction, if we keep making the same kind of progress, then these unbelievable possibilities might very well become reality. 

"Generative AI will be the driving force behind the adoption of AI in everyday life."