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Vishal Sikka is doing something cool! And, it's got to do with artificial intelligence

BusinessToday.In     May 7, 2018

Ten months after the former CEO of Infosys, Vishal Sikka, resigned from his post following a cold war between him and the company promoters, Sikka unveiled his plans for future, and they seem promising. During a conference in Silicon Valley on Friday, Sikka said he was working on an artificial intelligence venture, which would use latest technology to take human creativity to the next level, reported The Economic Times.  

The report says his conference focussed on debunking the debate around AI that claims the technology would lead to automation at the middle level and hence, the destruction of workforce. Sikka, whose venture is in early stages, said people need to be educated about AI as not many people in the world right now are well-versed with the technology. Sikka said fewer than 250,000 people in the world know about machine learning so far, and that its deeper understanding of the technology would lead to broader applications.

"As I look at the future, I am personally extremely excited about doing something in that area (AI), something that fundamentally improves the world," Sikka told Knoledge@Wharton in February, reported ET.

Sikka was the first non-promoter CEO of the company in its history. He was also an outsider to the traditional IT services market after having made a name for himself building products at German software major SAP. Reports suggest Sikka was ambitious about his AI plans since his days at SAP.
After he joined Infosys, Sikka carried out many projects to promote the technology to bring a change in the traditional IT services industry.

In his resignation letter to Infosys Ltd, Sikka had explained his plans about Nina, a chatbot he was working on, explaining how, in possibly the greatest demonstration of AI capability ever, a bot built by the researchers at OpenAI, defeated the world's best players of DOTA2, a multiplayer online video game.

His decision to lead Infosys was also motivated from the fact that he had an extensive background in "AI, and the structural changes that I saw happening in the IT services industry".

In April this year, Infosys decided to put up for sale its Israeli subsidiary, software service company Panaya, the acquisition of which had sparked a major controversy that eventually led to the exit of Sikka.

The acquisition of the cloud-based application delivery and test automation solutions provider for $200 million in 2015 had triggered a major crisis in Infosys, with its cofounder NR Narayana Murthy going public over the lack of transparency in the deal concluded by Sikka. Infosys had said it faced around Rs 118 crore impairment losses due to Panaya in the consolidated profit.

However, the company has decided to retain its AI chatbot Nina, which the company aims to integrate with all its verticals. After his exit from Infosys, Sikka's core team of around 10 senior executives from his company SAP, including Abdul Razack, Navin Budhiraja, and Gordon Muehl, also shifted to different companies.


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