Frankly, when I first watched Sam’s hopeless remark on the potential to build India’s own foundational model, I ignored that completely. Then thanks to India's emotional patriotic population, Sam started trending on Twitter, and after reading Tweets such as - Would you contribute money in building our AGI by referencing Korea’s citizens' Gold pledge to pay IMF loan, from one CEO to another CEO: challenge accepted, and many other similar emotional remarks - I was forced to write this small essay to remind myself what we do why we do. :)
Now, you might be wondering (if you are a regular reader of my essay) Suman, aren’t you an emotional person? Sure, I am emotional for our people, nation, problems etc. But I can’t let anyone control my emotions - people are free to say whatever they want, Freedom of Speech (lol). And when it comes to allocating capital, I can't be emotional. I must be rational - because I understand the value and its importance. I understand the wrong allocation or waste of capital creates a square of net negative to our society. Just to let you all know, I wrote an internal answer to Sam’s remark in 1000+ words, but I will not make it public for now (I believe in work first). This essay is more about our nation's pov. :)
And like most essays, I am going to start this essay with a story. If you want, you can skip this story. However this story will give you a sense of my unending conviction, and why I don’t give much premium to many folks in the ecosystem - except the people, I want to be around, people with whom I am looking for a lifetime relationship (Personally and Professionally), and there is something about them that inspires me every day.
We were a total of 14 brothers across all uncles - a total of eight - in my village, and we all were in a similar age group (between 8 to 10 years old). We were living in (Roshan and me) village, and most of the other kids were living in cities - Delhi, Punjab etc. And when you are young, the older people usually compare you with the rest of the kids. I remember vividly when my uncles used to compare all of us, they used to select the top three - and all of them were living in cities. And none of us (Roshan and me ) were on the list of even top-10. Frankly, me and Roshan both used to feel bad, after all, we were kids with all sorts of emotions. In fact, more than me, our mom was emotional after hearing that comparison list, she said in Maithili (Our mother tongue) - Ha, tohar beta sab alkhak ke chand chho or hamar baccha sab road parka bhikhmanga (Yes, your kids are the chosen one and my kids are roadside baggers).
Today, I can tell you the root cause of that reaction but in those days, you are not cognitively developed and hence driven by emotions. But today, when I am writing this after 15 years and trying to connect the dots, here is a summary of the top-3 comparison to us - me and my brother.
Shaligram - who was considered the top among 14 - is a Central Government officer (CRPF)
Shagar is working at ICICI Bank
Aman is currently working in a private company
Their combined average monthly salary should be less than INR 40K.
Now about me and my brother:
Roshan (My brother) is a CA his starting CTC was INR 18 Lakhs (Believe me, from our capacity, it is bloody high)
Technically, I am making less money compared to my brother and the above three. But again, I don’t measure my success (that I am yet to experience) based on money, I will never trade my current hustling/stage of life with any amount of money or any other assets.
The point is no one in this world can tell us what is our worth - and what we can or can't. And if I simply look among all 14, we always operated with constrained resources, our education till 10th was in our village in Hindi Medium on a monthly tuition fee of INR 50. I am unable to find anything special in me and Roshan. In fact, there was no specialty - we simply kept working honestly. And today our ambitions have no limit.
We all can agree - the fate and future of a nation is not very different from individual humans. Ultimately, the net output of a nation is just the sum of its citizen's contributions. And if this is the only rule, then there is not a single thing in this world that is hopeless whether
Building the world’s most innovative e-commerce network that has the potential to create the world’s innovative logistic system, I am really excited about this innovation (I think the logistics cost can be reduced by up to 50%)
The world’s largest identity program that disrupted the KYC process (Again at the order of magnitude lower compared to the rest of the world)
Impact: Thanks to Aadhar linked Bank accounts and UPI, India transferred 1.7 Lakh crore ($25 billion) directly to hundreds of millions of beneficiaries bank accounts. Contrast this with the US, where COVID-19 relief was mailed in the form of cheques (It seems for US, transferring the money directly to beneficiaries bank accounts is hopeless, lol).
I can go on and on… And all of these are for the scale of 1.4 billion or maybe for the rest of the 75% of the world’s population.
You see, we didn't have to compete with VISA because VISA was not suitable for our people or for the rest of the world, and hence we innovated and outperformed VISA in every aspect in less than half of the time and with just a fraction of money (hell, yes). 🙂
We didn’t have to compete with conventional e-Commerce because that is not suitable for our 60 million small manufacturers and mom-and-pop stores. And hence we innovated the world’s best Ecommerce network - ONDC. And ONDC would probably disrupt the 60 years old outdated logistic system.
Now if you take the above examples, you will realise that we were rational and hence innovated the same systems better at a significantly lower cost. Therefore, all the talk about collecting money from citizens to build AGI for our nation seems irrational. There is absolutely no point in building the same things. We must be rational and should not panic just because someone said it is hopeless. We must hack AGI for our people and problems and for the world, and that we will do!
Let’s say for a while, we are investing billions of dollars in creating our own ChatGPT but from where we are going to generate revenue to offset the investment? Because we won’t be able to build a better ChatGPT in an apple-to-apple comparison. This means even after building our own ChatGPT by investing billions of dollars - this tool will not be affordable for our people and for the rest of the world. This means from an economic pov - it will be an irrational thing to do, I am sure you would like to agree as well. But if you look at the history of our innovations - most of the innovations have been thought of by keeping people in the center rather than technology. This is the only reason the world has adopted our innovations.
The above examples are yet to be adopted by the rest of the world but here are a few amazing examples. :)
Do you know, the sachets of shampoo and small pockets of detergents are Indian innovations specific to the Indian market that went globally?
The HIV treatment cost by an Indian company - Cipla - was 30 times lower than any global player.
You see this is not the first time we have faced something similar. And hence it is a good time to be rational rather than emotional. We shouldn’t be reacting to Sam’s remark, rather we should be thinking about all those areas where we can build fundamental AGIs that can not only make Indian societies (1.4 billion not 50 or 100 million) better at the same time it should also help the rest of the world.
I have stamped my answer on a page, hopefully, the world will see - whether our nation has its own vertically trained foundational model on Healthcare, Fintech, Edtech etc. and here is the big statement - those fundamentals models will be suitable for the rest of the 75% of world’s population as well. And I fucking know - see, here I am being emotional! (lol)
Let me share some updates on the fundamental AGI models for Healthcare. We have a document titled - The AGI in Healthcare for the Next 15 Years. And our thought process is that if we really want AGI to perform its job order of magnitude better than the currently available options, it has to be trained based on each sub-activities of Healthcare. Let me share with you a few of them. I know you must have heard a few, but we have tried covering each activity of Healthcare, and in the coming time - we will be adding more fundamental models as we will have a deeper understanding. Just FYI, we have possibilities of a total of 27 different fundamental AGI models in Healthcare. And we created this doc on 09-04-2023 at 7:41 PM - this has nothing to do with Sam or anyone else, it has only to do with our customers and mission to make Quality Healthcare affordable for the world.
Here are examples of a few AGI fundamental models in Healthcare that you know:
Personal Doctor (ChatGPT of Healthcare)
Personal Assistant for Health Professionals (HP)
Training agent for new Health Professionals (HP) - Nurses, Paramedical staff, ASHA etc
Here is the list of a few additional AGI fundamental models in Healthcare from our AGI sheet
AGI for After Treatment Protocol (ATP)
Identification of NCD at the seed Stage in human
AGI in creating Probability of Hospitalisation (And believe me this is super complex, but will change the industry for the good)
AGI in creating Probability of Death (This as well is super complex)
We still have a list of 20+ different vertical AGI for Healthcare and if we are able to build those models - the model will be used by the rest of the 75% of the population, not just the top 10% of the world population. If you remember, I wrote this a few weeks back - our work is not limited to just the 1.4 billion population rather than it is for the world’s 75% of the population.
Why am I so confident?
Do you know, currently we have 500 million ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account), and we shall cross billion ABHA soon. If there are just 50 health data points per id, per year - we will have fucking 50 billion Health data point each year, real time updated. Other nation/company will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on data aggregation, cleaning, optimization, but for us - it is ready to be leveraged to build the world’s best Health AGI at almost fraction of the cost.
We simply have to be rational and build solutions keeping people in the center! Now we all have a reason not to be emotional by Sam's remark or anyone's remarks. We as a nation should be rational.
This is the wrap of this essay. Thanks for reading, if you find this informative, please share this with your network.
I will see you all next week