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Indian data science education firm Analytics Vidhya has secured a $5.5 million investment from Fractal Analytics.
The funds are going towards the company’s plans to train half a million full-stack AI professionals in five years. "Companies are facing a severe shortage of industry-ready talent who can solve real-world AI problems, said Natwar Mall, CTO at Fractal.
"In partnership with Analytics Vidhya, we are building a new talent supply-chain for Fractal and for the broader AI community."
Vidhya was founded in 2014 by Kunal Jain – who previously served as head of business analytics and intelligence at Aviva Life Insurance India.
The company claims the title of India's largest analytics and data science community, with a reported one million registered users.
Vidhya offers industry-focused training programs and conducts hackathons to help recruit data science and engineering talent.
"This investment helps us scale our offerings, bring high-quality industry-oriented content, and offer superior value to our community," Jain said.
Vidya’s new investor Fractal Analytics develops AI platforms and tools for a broad range of use cases, from financial analytics to medical imaging.
The partners are hoping to help meet the rising global demand for AI and engineering professionals. Their announcement cited the Dice 2020 Tech Job Report, which identified data engineering as the fastest-growing career option in technology in 2019.
A recent Deloitte study found that women make up just 26 percent of the AI workforce in the US.
AI Business recently spoke with Michelle Lee, former USPTO director, now at AWS’s Machine Learning Solutions Lab to talk about the gender divide in AI.
“There's a myth that has persevered that I'll never quite understand: that STEM or tech is for men and men alone, when in fact some of the most brilliant math and scientific minds have belonged to women – Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician, Rachel Carlson, the environmental scientist, or Rosalin Franklin, who discovered the double-helix structure of DNA,” Lee said.
“We cannot afford to leave any talent behind; we need to take advantage of all our talent to create and build AI solutions to solve our world's most pressing problems.”
Her comments were echoed by Professor Dame Wendy Hall, the UK’s AI skills champion. Professor Hall – a prominent computer scientist and World Wide Web pioneer – said that attempts to get more women to work in AI mirrored attempts to get more female representation in computing in the 1980s.