Microsoft-IIT Madras AI Chatbot Helps Villagers Access Government Services Through Phones

Microsoft-IIT Madras AI Chatbot Helps Villagers Access Government Services Through Phones
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New Delhi: Microsoft, together with AI4Bharat at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, has created a new AI-powered generative chatbot that is helping Indian farmers access government assistance on their mobile devices. Called Jugalbandi, the chatbot can understand questions in multiple languages, whether spoken or typed.

It retrieves information about relevant programs, usually written in English, and broadcasts them into the local language. (Also read: 9 most popular mobile phones of all time)

While Jugalbandi’s chatbot is still new, it could one day offer all Indians easy access to information in the local language via a mobile phone, instead of having to head to the local community service center and stand in line. just for basic information. (Also Read: 8 Signs He’s In Love With You – Check)

“We saw this Jugalbandi as a kind of ‘chatbot plus plus’ because it’s like a custom agent,” said Abhigyan Raman, project officer at AI4Bharat, an open source language artificial intelligence center based at IIT Madras.

“It understands your exact problem in your language and then tries to provide the right information reliably and cheaply, even if it exists in some other language in a database somewhere,” Raman added.

Jugalbandi was introduced to the villagers of Biwan, Haryana in early April. It has expanded to cover 10 of India’s 22 official languages ​​and 171 of a total of about 20,000 government programs, according to Smita Gupta, a lawyer working for OpenNyAI, a collaboration whose mission is to provide greater access to law and justice. through AI. It is one of several groups working on the chatbot.

Jugalbandi’s AI assistant works with language models from AI4Bharat and reasoning models from Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service.

It is accessed through the WhatsApp mobile messaging system, widely used in India, and the duo in this case is the conversation between the user and the chatbot.

Is that how it works.

A villager sends a text or audio message to a WhatsApp number, which launches the Jugalbandi bot. That is transcribed into text using the AI4Bharat speech recognition model.

That, in turn, is translated into English by the AI4Bharat-trained Bhashini translation model.

According to the advisory, the Azure OpenAI Service model retrieves information about the relevant government schema. The answer is translated into Hindi. It is then synthesized using the AI4Bharat text-to-speech model and sent back to WhatsApp, and into the ear of the villager.

In July 2022, the central government launched Bhashini to provide language solutions as digital public goods.

Research groups like the Indian Institutes of Technology, the International Institute of Information Technology and the Center for Advanced Computing Development are experimenting to augment the Bhashini platform.

AI4Bharat is one such research group. It has received funding from Nilekani Philanthropies, started by the co-founder of software giant Infosys Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini, as well as from Microsoft.

Pratyush Kumar, AI4Bharat co-principal investigator and Microsoft Research India principal investigator, said the team initially explored how to translate legal rulings, working with the Supreme Court of India. They also worked with schools and universities to transcribe videos and add subtitles, which can help children learn more effectively.

At the same time, organizations like OpenNyAI were thinking about field applications. “We brainstormed a bit,” Kumar said.

One of the results was Jugalbandi.

Jugalbandi “can really scale a lot of our work,” said Aaditeshwar Seth, co-founder of Gram Vaani.


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