Ericsson recently announced the setting up of a Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerator (GAIA) in Bengaluru. This innovation hub will focus on research and development in Artificial Intelligence and automation. Ericsson has set up Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerators in US and Sweden apart from India this year. \u201cThe newly launched GAIA facility will be key in accelerating the execution of Ericsson\u2019s focused strategy by leveraging cutting edge AI and automation technologies to create data driven, intelligent, and robust systems for automation, evolution, and growth,\u201d Sanjeev Tyagi, head of Ericsson R&D Bengaluru tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview. Excerpts: Can you tell us more about this new unit and why you decided on India as a hub? Ericsson has set up its Global AI Accelerator (GAIA) as a central unit to be able to accelerate projects across Ericsson\u2019s portfolio across the four business areas as well as customer projects across the five market areas. This new facility in Bengaluru along with GAIA\u2014in the US and Sweden will work together to focus on research and development in AI and automation. From a local market standpoint, the setting up of Global AI Accelerator is a testament of Ericsson\u2019s long-term commitment to India, to the rich talent pool as well as the vibrant ecosystem available here. What are the domains that this centre will focus on? This innovation hub set up by Ericsson in Bengaluru will focus on research and development in AI and automation. It will play a key role in accelerating the execution of Ericsson\u2019s focused strategy by leveraging cutting edge AI and Automation technologies to create data driven, intelligent, and robust systems for automation, evolution, and growth. GAIA\u2019s contribution ranges from providing expert competence to Ericsson businesses creating by building ML\/AI capabilities in our projects as well as accelerating automation for our customers. GAIA will be vital in helping create new future ready products and solutions to help shape the networks of the future. How are you looking at growing this unit in India over the next 2-3 years? What are your plans in terms of hiring, expansion? Ericsson has set up GAIA centres in USA, Sweden and now in India this year. By the end of next year, GAIA will have a workforce of 300 people out of which about 150 people will be based in India. These will include data scientists, data engineers, ML\/AI architects, and software developers across the three R&D hubs, globally. Why are telecom operators introducing AL\/ ML technologies to their networks? We are at the cusp of the next big industry transformation with the advent of 5G. The combination of billions of connected devices, petaflops of computing resources and advanced communication capabilities that enable real-time interactions will lead to the creation of systems on a scale and complexity level that is beyond the ability of humans to fully comprehend and control. Management and operation of these systems will require an extremely high degree of intelligent automation. This is something that we have been working on at Ericsson R&D as networks of the future are taking shape. As per our recent report, the mobile data traffic is expected to increase by a factor of five between now and 2024. Given this unprecedented pace of data traffic growth, we believe that machine intelligence, which encompasses the fields of AI and machine learning, offers the best opportunity to achieve the high levels of automation necessary to manage network complexity and optimise system performance for operators, allowing them to be proactive and much more efficient while delivering great consumer experience.