“Microsoft, Google and start-ups including Silicon Valley-backed Sarvam AI and Krutrim — founded by Bhavish Aggarwal of Indian mobility group Ola — are all working on AI voice assistants and chatbots that function in languages such as Hindi and Tamil. The tools are aimed at fast-growing Indian industries, such as the country’s large customer service and call centre sector.

India has 22 official languages, with Hindi the most widespread, but researchers estimate the languages and dialects spoken by its 1.4bn people rise into the thousands. Google on Tuesday launched its Gemini AI assistant in nine Indian languages.

Microsoft’s Copilot AI assistant is available in 12 Indian languages, and the company is working on other projects tailored for India, including building “tiny” language models at its Bengaluru-based research centre. These smaller alternatives to the expensive large language models underpinning generative AI can run on smartphones rather than the cloud, making them cheaper and potentially better suited to countries such as India where connectivity can be limited.”

From Financial Times.