As against the belief that the pandemic has slowed down, a lot of process and operations in the key industries, R&D processes have however, accelerated across the globe. Motoo Nishihara, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, NEC Corporation explains that remote collaboration of researchers across the world due to pandemic has led to this progress in R&D. NEC is a 120 year old conglomerate based at Japan that has seen evolving technologies such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence that are evidencing novel challenges post Covid 19 pandemic. For instance video imaging technologies alerts of the individuals in the crowd who are not following the social distancing norms. Similarly, facial recognition technologies indicate the individuals who are not wearing a mask. Mr. Nishihara had explained that these developments took place in just about three to four months.
“Given that 1.1 billion people in the world don’t have any form of identification, multi-modal authentication system using facial and iris recognition could be used to ensure the proper rollout of vaccines and other products,” Mr.Nishihara explained. Other opportunities he sees for AI is withrespect to cancer treatment. “AI is very effective in cancer treatment because we can define the parameters of the customers. I think from now on we have a lot of opportunity for integrating our AI system to the other domains like healthcare.” says Mr. Nishihara. He also added “Using face detection technology in the affected area we can effectively detect cancer cells.”
AI based cancer drug researchers are now aiding the Covid 19 vaccine formulation. NEC and acquired OncoImmunity AS (bioinformatics company based in Norway) in the year 2019. By leveraging the capabilities of OncoImmunity, NEC was able to roll out genetic anlaysis of Covid 19 just within a month. Remote working of the researchers has become the new norm post pandemic. “If we continue this kind of situation, our new society has to have some kind of preparation for the future when remote working and touches systems could become necessary, or even mandatory,” Mr.Nishihara added.
NEC India’s president and CEO Mr. Aalok Kumar says that the company is evidencing “very strong requirement, both from the government and the enterprise to go more touchless.” Owing to this demand, especially in airports NEC is expected to start pilot project at Varanasi airport that allows passengers to make a paperless and touchless entry. The company has already got contracts for the same in Pune, Kolkata and Vijaywada airports.
Mr. Kumar further explained “If you can apply something like that in a highly sensitive, highly secured and politically sensitive area like aviation, you can imagine how quickly it will get integrated in the enterprise sector,”