Language is one of the most powerful tools for communication, but also one of the biggest barriers for cross-cultural understanding. India, with its rich linguistic diversity, faces this challenge every day. According to the 2011 census, there are 22 scheduled languages and 121 non-scheduled languages in India, with Hindi being the most widely spoken. However, English is also widely used as a lingua franca, especially in education, business, and media. Therefore, there is a high demand for effective translation between Hindi and English, both for personal and professional purposes.
However, existing translation systems, such as Google Translate, often struggle to capture the nuances, idioms, and cultural references of Hindi and English. Moreover, they rely on large amounts of parallel data, which are scarce and expensive to obtain for low-resource languages like Hindi. As a result, the quality and accuracy of the translations are often unsatisfactory, leading to frustration and misunderstanding among users.
This is where Sarvam AI, a new AI model developed by Indian researchers, comes in. Sarvam AI is a generative AI model that can translate between Hindi and English with high accuracy and fluency, without requiring any parallel data. Instead, it leverages the vast amount of monolingual data available on the internet, such as news articles, blogs, and social media posts, to learn the structure and semantics of both languages. It then uses a novel technique called self-attention to align the words and phrases in the source and target languages and generate natural and coherent translations.
Sarvam AI was launched by Dr. Vivek Raghavan and Dr. Pratyush Kumar, who are co-founders of Sarvam AI, a start-up that aims to build the full stack for generative AI in India. The start-up recently raised $41 million in a Series A round led by Lightspeed, Peak XV Partners, and Khosla Ventures. The start-up plans to use the funds to expand its team, scale its platform, and develop more domain-specific AI models for various industries and applications.
Sarvam AI is not only a technological innovation but also a social and cultural one. It has the potential to bridge the linguistic gap between millions of Indians and enable them to access information, education, and opportunities in their preferred language. It also showcases the talent and potential of Indian researchers and entrepreneurs, who are leading the way in AI innovation and democratization. Sarvam AI is a testament to the vision of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India), and a step towards a more inclusive and diverse AI future.
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