Google building AI model to support over 100 Indian languages: Sundar Pichai
Google, the world’s most popular search engine, is working on making text and voice internet search available in over 100 Indian langugages, its India-born CEO Sundar Pichai said on Monday.
Pichai, who is visiting India, said the pace of technological change in the country has been extraordinary and Google is supporting small businesses and startups, investing in cybersecurity, providing education and skills training, and applying AI (Artificial Intelligence) in sectors like agriculture and healthcare. “I’m here to see progress being made from our USD 10 billion, 10-year India Digitization Fund (IDF), and share new ways. We’re helping to advance India’s digital future at our Google for India event.
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“That includes our efforts to build a single, unified AI model that will be capable of handling over 100 Indian languages across speech and text – part of our global effort to bring the world’s 1,000 most-spoken languages online, and to help people access knowledge and information in their preferred language,” he wrote in a blog. In July 2020, Google had announced plans to invest USD 10 billion in India over next five to seven years as the search giant looks to help accelerate adoption of digital services in the key overseas market.
“We’re also supporting a new, multidisciplinary centre for responsible AI with IIT Madras,” Pichai said. This as part of Google working to seize the opportunity in AI globally, balancing the need to be bold with innovation and responsible in its approach. “I’m excited to see the ways India will contribute to breakthroughs in AI that could benefit over a billion people in India, and more around the world,” he said. Pichai said he was amazed at the ways people are already using technology to make their communities better.
“One of the local tech founders I met today has broken new ground by offering a radiation-free and non-invasive breast cancer screening tool; another developed a chatbot that helps people manage stress. I was glad to hear their stories and to share thoughts on how technology can expand opportunity during a conversation at Women Will,” he said. Pichai met telecommunications and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and was later scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Prime Minister Modi’s Digital India vision has helped to accelerate the progress we’re seeing across India, and I’m excited for India to share its experience with the world as it takes over the G20 presidency in 2023.” he said. “The pace of technological change in India has been extraordinary, and there’s so much opportunity still ahead. Glad to be able to see it up close, and I’m already looking forward to my next visit.”
Sanjay Gupta, Google’s Country Head and Vice President, India, said Google is making search results pages bilingual in India by tapping into its advanced ML (Machine Learning)-based translation models and a cross-language search technology. “Looking to the longer term, we’ve joined hands with the Indian Institute of Science on ‘Project Vaani’ — an initiative that aims at collecting and transcribing open source speech data from across all of India’s 773 districts, making it available through the government of India’s Bhashini project,” he said.
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