Flipkart is Taking a Big Gamble on Artificial Intelligence Technology
Bytes: Artificial intelligence (AI) is all set to play a bigger role in Flipkart’s decision making process in coming days. This important disclosure was made by Flipkart’s Chairman and Co-owner Sachin Bansal while speaking to business publication mint. India’s largest e-commerce company will make an ambitious push towards AI by establishing an internal AI unit called AIforIndia.
“This is the next big thing for us, where we are betting big on the use of AI and machine learning to solve problems at Flipkart. India’s problems are unique and we need to apply AI in the ecosystem to solve Indian problems,” Bansal said to Mint.
He also did not rule out any AI related acquisition in India as well as the U.S in future. The home grown online retail giant had made the first big AI related acquisition by acquiring the Silicon Valley based F7 Labs back in 2015.
The person who will be heading the AIforIndia will be Flipkart’s chief data scientist Mayur Datar. Bansal and company’s chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy will also be heading some of the important projects in this internal AI team.
For people who don’t know, this is not the first time that the Bengaluru based e-commerce behemoth has made a major foray in AI to improve company’s profitability. Over the years, the company has consistently used breakthrough technologies like AI, Big Data and machine learning to ascertain the habits of modern day customers. These deep insights greatly helped Flipkart in optimizing cost of the product while it was equally useful in improving the logistic services.
Separately, the company is currently overseeing a project called Project Mira, which is making deep research in conversational AI search experience. The project has been running on a trial basis since last year. It has also forged a long term partnership with software giant Microsoft for deploying AI-based solutions in order to gain more sales and tractions.
Flipkart certainly could not have afford to overlook the potential AI, given that its arch-rival and deep funded Amazon Inc. has laid an industry benchmark in exploiting the potential of AI for warehouse and other purposes.