Google will collaborate with Indian Institute of Science (IISC) for project Vaani, Google for India announced on December 19.
Under the partnership it aims to build an artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) model to collect language samples from 773 districts across India.
The initiative would gather speech data across India and use it to create an AI-based language model that can understand diverse Indian languages and dialects.
Manish Gupta, director of Google Research India, said, “We want to make sure that any language which is spoken by 100,000 people is covered.”
It is part of IISc and AI and Robotics Technology Park’s (Artpark) Bhasha AI project that includes SYSPIN (Synthesizing Speech in Indian languages) and RESPIN (Recognizing Speech in Indian languages).
Prasanta Kumar Ghosh, a professor at IISc who leads these initiatives said, “India’s spoken languages change every few kilometres…machines have no hope. So, research and innovation for inclusive language AI require capturing this diversity in our datasets.”
Gupta also announced another AI model that will use satellite imagery to offer agriculture-related insights to agritech startups and policymakers.
This model is an attempt to solve several problems in the sector by applying AI models to satellite imagery.
It will be used to identify farm boundaries and landscape understanding which will provide more insight into what crop is being grown on each farm and what is the likely yield.
Google has been working on a pilot for this with the Telangana government.
Center for Responsible AI
Another initiative is an AI-based optical character recognition (OCR) tool that has been trained to read handwritten medical prescriptions.
Google has granted a fund of $1 million to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras to open a Center for Responsible AI in India.
This is an effort to bring together researchers from other institutes and other fields like social science and law.
Gupta explained, “A lot of research on responsible AI has been done in a western context.
In India, there are additional dimensions of bias based on region and caste.
It is important that we study all these biases in the Indian context and keep them in mind while developing these AI models.”
The center aims to research various aspects of bias in AI from an Indian perspective.
Another grant of a similar amount will be offered to Wadhwani Foundation to support the deployment of AI models.