BharatGPT: Reliance and Universities Jamming Together to Elevate India’s AI Domain

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Setting the Stage for AI Development
In a groundbreaking collaboration between Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. and India’s leading engineering institutions, the BharatGPT initiative is set to launch its innovative language model, Hanooman, next month. This development marks a significant stride in India’s quest to establish itself as a key player in the realm of artificial intelligence.


Beyond Code: Hanooman in Action

During a recent technology conference in Mumbai, the BharatGPT group, comprising Reliance Industries and eight affiliated universities, provided a sneak peek into the capabilities of Hanooman. In a video demonstration, individuals from diverse backgrounds interacted with the AI bot in various Indian languages, showcasing its versatility. A motorcycle mechanic conversed in Tamil, a banker in Hindi, and a developer in Hyderabad utilized the model for coding tasks.

Hanooman, named after the half-monkey Hindu deity, holds immense promise for India’s position in the global AI race. The model aims to operate seamlessly in 11 local languages across four key sectors: healthcare, governance, financial services, and education. Developed in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology universities and supported by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and the Indian government, Hanooman represents a unique private-public partnership in the country.

Unlike the larger language models (LLMs) pursued by Silicon Valley giants, BharatGPT’s approach is tailored to the specific needs of India. Startups like Sarvam and Krutrim, with backing from notable investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Vinod Khosla’s fund, are also contributing to the development of open-sourced AI models customized for the Indian market.

Ganesh Ramakrishnan, Chair of IIT Bombay’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, emphasized that Hanooman will include speech-to-text capabilities, making it exceptionally user-friendly. This feature is crucial in a country where millions cannot read or write. Reliance Jio is committed to building customized models for specific applications, further expanding the reach of AI in India.

In a unique analogy, Ramakrishnan likened the collaboration to an “Indian joint family,” highlighting the interdependence of major players from diverse fields. This holistic approach, bringing together industry, academia, and government support, sets BharatGPT apart and reinforces the idea that collaboration is key to success in the ever-evolving field of artificial intelligence.

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