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India AI and Meta sign MoU to collaborate on AI technologies, will create datasets for Indian languages

The partnership will use Meta’s AI research models such as LlaMA to create datasets in Indian Languages to enable translation and large language models.

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is placed on laptop keyboard in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

What’s the news: ‘India AI’ and Meta entered into a collaboration aimed at advancing research and development in AI & Emerging Technologies, as per a press release from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on July 26, 2023. The partnership will use Meta’s AI research models such as LlaMA, Massively Multilingual Speech, and No Language Left Behind to create datasets in Indian Languages to enable translation and large language models. Special attention will be given to low-resource languages (languages with fewer available resources to support their development and inclusion in AI systems).

What is India AI? India AI is the national AI portal of India established by the IT Ministry, National eGovernance Division and NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies), under the Digital India Corporation. On its website, India AI describes itself as a “knowledge portal, research organisation and an ecosystem building initiative” that promotes “collaborations with various entities in India’s AI ecosystem.”

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Why it matters: Earlier, experts attending a Full Stack Capital workshop discussed how AI language models in Indian languages and for Indian contexts are scarce. For this reason, Indian languages are seen as “a business moat for generative AI.” At the same time, India’s AI stack is not ready due to a supply problem in terms of language solutions. There are open-source initiatives to bridge this language gap, but they remain few in number. With the partnership between Meta and the Indian government, this status quo may change for the better, making AI more accessible to Indian users.

MeitY hopes to improve service delivery via collaboration: In the press release, the government hoped the move will “foster social inclusion, improve government service delivery, and spur innovation using large language models, Generative AI, cognitive systems, and translation models.”

Abhishek Singh, CEO of India AI, said, “[t]hrough this partnership with Meta, the joint research and development endeavours will tackle large-scale challenges by leveraging AI technologies like Llama and other open-source solutions.”

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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