India, AI and Blockchain, between Revolution and Fear of the People

Ah, blockchain and AI, those two little technological gems that are the talk of the town. India, that emerging giant, has decided to jump on the bandwagon. Mahesh Kumar Jain, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, recently said, “We need to adapt to the technological innovations represented by AI and blockchain.” But then why so much admiration from Jain? Let’s see it together!

India goes All IN for AI and Blockchain

With a GDP of $3.02 trillion and a population of 1.4 billion, India is an economic giant on the move. If so, why are the government of India and especially Mahesh Kumar Jain, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India so confident about Blockchain and AI? Do they really need them?

Well, because these technologies can, not only improve operational efficiency, risk management and compliance, but also boost the customer experience by enabling the development of new products and services!

In fact, AI didn’t wait for sweet words from Jain and get to work! According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance and the World Economic Forum, a majority of financial services companies have already integrated technology in areas such as risk management (56%) and revenue generation for new products (52%). Not bad, eh?

So, what are the benefits of AI in banking? According to an article in Tech Target, there are five of them:

  1. Reducing operating costs and risksby eliminating error-prone tasks such as customer data entry.
  2. Improved customer experience.
  3. Improved fraud detection and regulatory compliance. No need for a team to track down fraud when an AI can monitor transactions, observe customer behavior, audit and log customer information. In the event of suspicious behavior, action can be taken instantly, such as refusing a transaction or sending an alert to the customer.
  4. AI can also improve lending and credit decisions by observing the customer’s history and expenses.
  5. It can automate some banks’ investment processes.

It’s almost too good to be true, isn’t it? For companies yes, for Indians, much less…

Are Indians victims of the AI their government wants so badly?

According to a recent report by Microsoft, more than 74% of Indians fear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will take their jobs in the future (editor’s note: and personally, I understand the fear).

The Microsoft Work Trend Index 2023 reveals that 90% of Indian managers believe that employees need to prepare for the rise of AI. This study surveyed 31,000 people in 31 countries, including ironically only 1,000 in India.

But beware, it’s not all doom and gloom. The study also shows that 83% of Indian employees would be willing to delegate as much work as possible to AI to lighten their workload.

For Bhaskar Basu, responsible for Microsoft India Country – Modern Work, the next generation of AI will unleash a new wave of productivity growth, help workers shake off the monotony of their jobs and open up new opportunities to discover creativity.

So, is AI a threat or an opportunity? For India, the answer seems to be a bit of both, but the country is determined to stay at the cutting edge of technology! As a reminder, India launched its own Central Bank Digital Currency (MNBC/CBDC) on November 1, and is already testing offline functionalities for mass adoption.

With a steadily growing population, India today 5th world power in GDP and 4th in military seems determined to join the top 3! So.., stay tuned because India has not finished surprising us in the technological field! That is, if all goes according to plan…