The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has announced the launch of “Nilekani Center at AI4Bharat” to advance the state of Indian language technology with the support of Rohini and Nandan Nilekani with a grant of ₹36 crore via Nilekani Philanthropies.
In a press release, the first institute said the new center would work to advance Indian language technology to create wider impact. It was inaugurated on Thursday by one of the donors and co-founder of Infosys, Nandan Nilekani. The launch event saw a workshop open to students, researchers and startups to discuss the resources available to create Indian language technologies.
AI4Bharat was created on the initiative of IIT Madras to create an open source language AI for Indian languages. Over the past two years, the team led by Mitesh Khapra, Pratyush Kumar and Anoop Kunchukuttan has made several contributions to Indian language technology, including state-of-the-art models for machine translation and speech recognition, IIT said. Madras.
“The Digital India Bhashini mission was launched with the aim of making all services and information available to citizens in their own language with ‘collaborative AI’ at the heart of the design. AI4Bharat will further contribute and accelerate Indian-language AI work as a public good and is fully aligned with the goals of the Bhashini mission,” Nilekani said.
V Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, said, “I am pleased that IIT Madras is taking a leadership role in Indian language AI, which is of national importance. I can’t wait for AI4Bharat’s cutting-edge research to be translated into real-world use.
“While language technology has improved significantly for English and a few languages, Indian languages are lagging behind. The aim of the Center would be to bridge this gap,” said Mitesh M Khapra, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras.
July 28, 2022