EY Partner on the impact of AI, fintech and voice detection technology

10 August 2018 Authored by Consultancy.in

India is well among the leaders in the adoption of the latest in digital applications, and transformational technologies such as artificial intelligence and voice recognition are set to become crucial cogs in the country’s economy going forward, according to Mahesh Makhija – Partner in EY India’s advisory and financial services division. 

Nearly a billion people in India are expected to be online by as early as 2025, and while the true implications of such a scenario can scarcely be determined in advance, experts are doing their best to sift through the available evidence and paint a rough picture of what the economy will look like in a few years.

Naturally, the sectors affected first and most directly will be those relating to the consumption of online content, which includes digital advertising, telecoms and the media & entertainment sectors among others. One domain – perhaps less direct – that experts predict the advent of a digital revolutions is in finance and financial transactions.

Digital lending volumes are expected to surpass $1 trillion over the next four years, and according to Mahesh Makhija, a similar boom can be expected in the digitised insurance sector – what is commonly referred to in the business world as Insurtech. Makhija has been a Partner at EY and the Lead for Financial Services Improvement and Technology Consulting for five years, and has also worked for Infosys and Accenture in the past.

EY Partner on the impact of AI, Fintech and voice detection technology

“Within the next two years, there is going to be a spate of digital-only insurance companies because there are many use cases emerging there, too. That’s one trend we are seeing,” says Makhija, elaborating on the current tech scenario in the country.

“There are two markets that are off the charts in terms of adoption of fintech products—China and India. We looked at digitally active users—people who have got a smartphone and a data connection and are starting to use the internet,” he said, referring to a survey of 20,000 customers across the world conducted by EY last year.

Beyond the sector-wise impact, the specific technology that Makhija expects will take centre stage in the near future is the combination between voice detection and AI, the latter being another segment that will contribute nearly $1 trillion to the Indian economy, although its impact will take slightly longer to manifest itself.

“Our kids talk to appliances all the time, for instance. If I’m going to take a loan from somebody (in the future), there’s no need for me to fill out a form. I can have a conversation with an AI-enabled agent, give him my information that will get processed and make the entire experience seamless. Also linked to voice is vernacular—there are a bunch of fintechs attacking the vernacular. That’s going to be big,” says Makhija. 

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