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Snapdeal Partners Bhashini to Deliver AI-Powered Indian Vernacular Language Capabilities

Snapdeal, the popular e-commerce platform, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bhashini. With this partnership, Snapdeal aims to boost digital inclusion in the e-commerce space in India. The collaboration will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to develop solutions and services to cater to nine different vernacular languages of the country. The online shopping platform has stated that it will build AI-powered language translation solutions as well as AI-based voice-first technologies. A particular focus will be on the Tier-3 cities and beyond. Snapdeal highlighted that the MoU was signed to develop services and products to improve language translation efforts which will eventually promote digital inclusion in India. The company did not specify any particular tools or services it will be building. It is currently unknown whether these technologies will be open sourced to help the entire e-commerce ecosystem or will be used for the Snapdeal platform. 

Nvidia surpasses Apple, becoming world’s second most valuable company fuelled by AI boom

Nvidia has surpassed Apple to become the second most valuable company globally. It achieved a market capitalization of USD 3.01 Trillion. The surge in Nvidia’s market value is largely attributed to its leadership in the AI space, fuelled by the success of its flagship H100 chip. Nvidia first hit the USD 1 TRN mark in May 2023 and by February 2024 it had reached USD 2 TRN, surpassing Amazon and Alphabet. In its latest earnings call, Nvidia reported a profit of USD 14 BN, largely driven by robust AI chip sales. The company now trails only Microsoft, which has a market cap of USD 3.15 TRN. Nvidia’s stock is trading at over USD 1,224 per share, with a stock split planned. The move is expected to further attract investors. Nvidia commands a dominant position in the AI accelerator market, holding between 70 to 95 percent of the market share for AI chips. The company is set to continue its innovation trajectory with plans to launch a new chip annually, including the anticipated Blackwell B200 GPU expected later this year. This is the first time since 2002 that Nvidia has surpassed Apple in market value. Back then, both companies were valued at less than USD 10 BN each, and Apple had not yet launched the iPhone. Despite being the first to surpass USD 1 TRN and USD 2 TRN, Apple is currently facing challenges, including sluggish iPhone demand in China and lagging behind in AI technology adoption. It currently stands at USD 3 TRN.

88% of Indian consumers abandon purchases due to information overload

Accenture launched a report titled ‘The Empowered Consumer’ which is based on a survey of 19,000 consumers across 12 countries, including India. The research highlights that 76% of Indian consumers feel overwhelmed by too many choices, and 74% say they are bombarded by advertising. Consequently, 88% have abandoned purchases in the last three months of 2023. The report emphasizes the urgent need for brands to utilize generative AI (gen AI) to reduce decision-making ‘noise’ and enhance engagement, loyalty, and sales. It also notes that 67% of people in India perceive no improvement or an increase in the time and effort needed for purchase decisions. This includes 40% who find it more challenging and 28% who see no change, while 33% believe it takes less time and effort. Across categories, the research indicates challenges in purchase decision-making, with examples such as buying snacks being harder than other groceries and purchasing a moisturiser being as complex as buying a washing machine. “Our survey shows that Indian shoppers are experiencing greater ‘decision stress’ at every stage of the buying journey. Consumer-facing companies will need to rethink how products and services are branded and marketed, making it easier for shoppers to navigate through the noise and make confident purchase decisions. With new technologies such as generative AI, there’s a huge opportunity to not only become data-powered but also delightfully human in a way that has just not been possible until now,”  Vineet R Ahuja, of Accenture India said. The report suggests that consumer empowerment through generative AI and other technologies will transform brand-consumer relationships. It predicts rapid adoption of AI-powered advisors by consumers in the next two years, with 82% of Indian respondents open to using conversational generative AI solutions while shopping.

Apple unveils Apple Intelligence, OpenAI partnership at WWDC

At Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company revealed it’s joining the AI game with “Apple Intelligence,” which will be in beta for several Apple devices — iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, iPad and Mac with M1 chips. The company also revealed a much-anticipated partnership with OpenAI. A notable aspect of Apple Intelligence is its integration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. This integration is more of an add-on rather than a core component of Apple Intelligence, but it seamlessly brings ChatGPT’s powerful capabilities into the Apple ecosystem. Users will have control over when ChatGPT is utilized, with the ability to give explicit consent before sharing information. Apple Intelligence is billed as a personal intelligence system for iPhone, iPad and Mac that joins generative models with personal context to drive relevancy. The offering, which promises to simplify everyday tasks and actions across a variety of apps, was introduced alongside a privacy-focused solution called Private Cloud Compute. Apple is also integrating OpenAI’s ChatGPT into experiences within iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia, including within offerings like its new Writing Tools and Siri. The integration will be powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4o model and become available later this year.

Gen Z is Using Google Less

A recent online survey from Forbes Advisor and Talker Research further supports this notion that Gen Z prefers social media platforms to conduct online searches. A few noteworthy takeaways include: Nearly a quarter (24%) of people said they primarily use social media to search online. Gen Z leads the way at 46%. Although 84% of people continue to use search engines for brand-related searches, there’s a noticeable 30% drop in this behavior between Baby Boomers (94%) and Gen Z (64%) in 2024. Some 44% of Gen Z find new brands on social media daily, and 33% do so weekly. Gen Z often uses TikTok to find information on gift ideas and hair and makeup. Surprisingly, though, they mostly search for restaurants and bars and local services (car repairs, cleaners, etc.) on Google at 66%. Forbes’s research further underscores the need for multi-location businesses to have a local social media presence and strategy. The fact that 24% of all respondents discover new brands daily via social media reveals that social platforms actively shape consumer habits and preferences. This is particularly true for younger generations, like Gen Z.  TikTok and Instagram’s visual, interactive, and real-time nature allows brands to engage more dynamically with their audience, leading to higher trust and engagement. These search trends can help inform your multi-location social media strategy.

More than Half of Companies Lack AI Innovation Skills

There is a vital human skills gap that needs addressing, as companies seek to make full use of AI and cloud technologies. According to a study by SoftwareOne, a leading global software and cloud solutions company, there is a great need to bridge the human-machine divide. The company highlights that 97% of companies are prioritizing upskilling their workforce. As AI continues to disrupt businesses and services around the world, companies are scrambling to get their hands on the latest models to better serve their customers. However, a burgeoning skills gap exists to threaten business operations and could risk organizations falling behind in the global AI race. Organizations are at a critical point as they consider how to remain competitive when it comes to AI. Currently, the biggest pain point for companies in their digital transformation efforts is ensuring employee skills growth matches the rapid rate of innovation. According to SoftwareOne, more than half (53%) of the companies surveyed currently lack the AI skills required to leverage rapid innovation.  Likewise 50% of organizations report they are currently struggling to find AI-skilled employees. SoftwareOne’s research underscores a pressing reality – that prioritizing close collaboration between human workers and advanced technologies is vital amidst a widening cloud skills gap and apprehension around AI. This relationship is set to redefine dynamics within a business, with 97% of organizations already planning to prioritize upskilling their workforce. There is a cloud skills shortage which in turn has increased the workloads of 62% of employees. More than a quarter of IT managers are thinking of quitting their jobs due to lack of skills.


 

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