News Brief

Reliance Industries-Backed BharatGPT Consortium To Launch ChatGPT-Like AI Service In India In March

Kuldeep Negi

Feb 21, 2024, 11:29 AM | Updated 11:29 AM IST

Generative AI is increasingly harnessed by corporations and industry.
Generative AI is increasingly harnessed by corporations and industry.

A consortium supported by Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd and leading Indian engineering schools plans to introduce its first ChatGPT-style service in March.

This marks a significant move towards India's goal of establishing a presence in the artificial intelligence sector.

The BharatGPT consortium, which includes a segment of India's most esteemed company and eight partner universities, showcased a preview of their advanced language model at a tech conference in Mumbai.

The BharatGPT consortium, comprising a segment of India's highly regarded companies and eight partnering universities, presented a preview of their language model at a technology conference in Mumbai.

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The demonstration included a mechanic from southern India using the AI in Tamil, a banker communicating in Hindi, and a developer from Hyderabad utilizing the tool for coding.

If successful, the model named Hanooman will mark progress for India in the development of AI technology.

BharatGPT plans for the model to operate in 11 local languages across healthcare, governance, financial services, and education sectors.

The model was developed in partnership with Indian Institutes of Technology, including IIT Bombay, with support from Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and the Indian government.

This comes as several startups, including Sarvam and Krutrim, with backing from influential venture capitalists like Lightspeed Venture Partners and Vinod Khosla, are also working on developing open-source AI models tailored for India.

While tech giants in Silicon Valley, including OpenAI, are creating larger language models, their efforts often require creative solutions to overcome computational limits, making simpler models more accessible for smaller enterprises and government entities.

“It’s a different genre of LLMs,” Ganesh Ramakrishnan, chair of IIT Bombay’s department of computer science and engineering, was quoted as saying in a Times of India report.

Hanooman will also offer speech-to-text capabilities, making it vastly more user-friendly, he added.

Reliance Jio plans to develop customised models for specific uses, he said.

The RIL is also developing Jio Brain, an platform to use AI across a network of about 450 million subscribers.

Large Language Models (LLMs) are systems that learn from vast quantities of data and generate natural-sounding responses. Such models harness generative AI, a newer type of artificial intelligence popularized by the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The BharatGPT initiative stands out as the first of its kind in India, representing a novel private-public partnership involving key stakeholders across different sectors.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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