UpGrad Trends to Tend [January 2019 – I]

What’s happening? Where is it happening? How is it happening?

Presenting UpGrad Trends to Tend where we talk about news, views, and opinions across the data, digital & tech industry.

A recent study by Capgemini Research Institute suggests that there is a 17% increase in AI deployment in the Retail sector. AI adoption has increased sevenfold from 2016 making it 28% today. Despite the widespread enthusiasm in the AI technology among sectors, only one percent of retailers have scaled AI adoption. If able to scale the existing deployment, AI opportunities in retail can exceed up to $300 billion.

Business Standard reported that according to a new policy from the government, flash sales and deep discounts issued by e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Amazon would be brought to an end. These rules come from the new foreign direct investment (FDI) which bans the e-commerce sites from selling products from companies they have an equity interest in. They are also forbidden to enter into any exclusive agreements with the seller.

From a recent article by The Economist, when a new good produces a sizeable profit, antitrust regulators hold back those who control its flow. Such is the case of  Data which is regarded as the oil of Digital era for being the most valuable resource. The dominance of the top listed firms in the world in terms of generating data are raising their concerns. Researchers and tech giants have understood the importance of this data and have started hunting people who can handle, explore and utilize this data.


According to past enrollment data by upGrad, Blockchain and Data Analytics has emerged as the most popular skills of 2019 despite a recent layoff in the IT industry. Employment opportunities in Tech are expected to increase by 12% by the year 2020. The blockchain is accounted to almost 200% increase in job growth rate with a double salary hike. Data Science market has been predicted to become a 230 billion dollar market by 2020.

It is an attempt to prepare the students to stay updated with the upcoming technologies which are fast-growing and highly demanded in the industries today. The subject would be optional for the students.

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How do you define AI in simple terms?

In simple words, Artificial Intelligence can be defined as the process of simulating human intelligence using machines and computers. AI is one of the most sophisticated branches of computer science that deals with the development of machines that can perform complicated tasks that typically need the intelligence that human beings possess. AI is of four kinds – theory of mind, reactive machines, self-awareness, and limited memory. Today, AI is present in almost everything we interact with, from spam filters in our emails and self-driving cars to virtual assistants in our smartphones, chatbots on websites, robo-advisors, etc.

What is meant by FDI in India?

FDI, i.e., Foreign Direct Investment, is when an organisation adopts the ownership or acquires assets of a specific business entity in a foreign country. Through FDI, organisations from abroad directly deal with the daily operations of that business in a different country. And through that process, they not only bring forth funds with them but also skills, knowledge, and technological prowess. FDI is a crucial source of monetary benefits that are channelled for the economic development of the country. It operates via two routes through the government or via an automatic route. It is permitted across most industries except sectors like betting or gambling, generation of atomic energy, lotteries, chit fund investments, etc.

Is it a good idea to invest in chit funds?

Chit funds have acquired a poor reputation because of news of misuse in the past that left many people scammed out of their pockets. However, it is not necessarily a bad idea to invest in chit funds. You can find many chit fund organisations registered and run by the government; these are safe places to invest your money. Essentially, chit funds are a loan-plus-savings scheme where several fund contributors invest a fixed amount of money every month. This money is accumulated and auctioned every month, with the investor bidding the lowest winning the deal.

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