September 21 (India Today) – India is one of the key markets for Google. The company in the recent past has launched a number of India centric products and initiatives, like the BOLO app, rail Wi-Fi project and its flood forecasting initiative that piloted in Patna, that cater to the needs and requirements of the people living in India. Now the company is taking a step further in the Indian territory and setting up a research lab in India.
Google at the fifth edition of its annual Google for India event announced that it is setting up a research lab focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and its applications in India. The company’s AI lab — Google Research India — is based in Bengaluru and it will be led by Dr. Manish Gupta, who is a noted scientist and an ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) fellow. He will be aided by Prof Milind Tambe, who will join the Google Research India as the director for AI for Social Good research. He currently holds a Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science chair at the Harvard where he focuses on advancing AI for social good.
Google’s Bengaluru based AI lab will focus on two things. Firstly, it will focus on the advancement of Computer Science research in India, wherein it will focus on Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Languages, Speech, Systems, and other related areas. Secondly, it will focus on applying this research to tackle big problems in areas pertaining to healthcare, agriculture, and education. The lab will also focus on making apps and services that will focus on helping billions of people in the country.
In addition to announcing its AI focussed lab in India, Google also announced a partnership with Vodafone Idea which would bring the Google Assistant to users’ 2G smartphones. The partnership will enable Vodafone users across India to access Google’s virtual assistant and ask their queries using a toll-free number. Users will not require mobile data or internet connectivity to ask questions to the Google Assistant. This functionality will be available 24×7 and it is available in English and Hindi.