Google hosted its 8th annual Google For India 2022 event on 19th December in New Delhi. The event was attended by Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, and Ashwini Vaishnav, Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India. Both talked about Google’s progress in building AI-enabled and India’s first innovations at the event. From breaking down language barriers to assisting millions of people to access data more naturally to keep them safe at every step, these innovations highlight Google’s commitment to making a digital India into reality. This article covers the important announcements made at the Google For India 2022 event to empower AI technology in its products used in India.
- Introducing more natural ways to search
Today, search has moved beyond typing a text, and people are searching for information on the internet with the help of voice assistants and cameras to learn more about the world around them. But in the case of exploring advanced technologies information, you need to interact with it to get a complete understanding, just like you do in the real world. Therefore, to help people explore advanced technologies, Google has announced to focus on building unique search experiences that encourage people to interact with technology and explore information in the Google for India 2022 event.
- Search and explore visually
You can often not describe what you are searching for on the web. Google helps you to explore search with your camera or images using Google Lens. Indians are already using Google Lens every month more than any other country worldwide.
To make the visual search even more natural, Google introduced Multisearch. Multisearch is a milestone in visual search that helps people to search with images and texts simultaneously. You need to open the camera in the Google app to take a picture or use an image and then add words to your search. Multisearch is currently available in the English language in India. Google announced in the Google for India 2022 event that Multisearch will be available in Hindi and other Indian languages in the following year.
- Google‘s search-in video feature
Besides image searches, Google also talked about video searches at the event. Videos are a rich source of visual information, but finding something within a video requires time. With the search-in video feature, Google will help you quickly find anything you want within a video by entering a term beneath it. In the Google for India 2022 event, Google announced the implementation of a search-in video service in India to search for specific information within videos.
- More natural search experience in Indian languages
Searching for information in your native language sounds more natural than searching for it in any formal language. Therefore, Google has announced making search pages bilingual for people who use many languages to search and explore information in the Google For India 2022 event. With advanced machine learning-based translation models and cross-language search technology, Google will serve you high-quality and relevant content in their local language, along with English results they wish to view. This type of innovation will be launched in India for the first time. Google has already started working on the Hindi language and will expand to other Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bengali in the coming year.
- Speech recognition technology for Hinglish speakers
Google is addressing India’s dynamic language needs regarding voice. Voice-based technologies have shown a transformational impact in India, which helped people find information by speaking in their language. Google wants to help more people, especially Indians, ask questions in search engines naturally in their voice. Therefore, it announced a new speech recognition model, which can understand people speaking in Hinglish at the Google for India 2022 Event. Google will lead this innovation using a new neural network-inspired speech recognition model that considers the user’s accent, surrounding sound, contexts, and speaking styles.
- Help people with non-standard speech
Mostly, when people speak, it is not always necessary that they will be heard and understood. More than 250 billion people globally do not have standard speech or find it hard to communicate with others. Therefore, to solve this problem, speech recognition innovations are made. With years of research, Google has invented the Project Relate app, which is trained to identify unique speech patterns in non-standard speech. Google has been using Project Relate with English language users in India. It announced expanding the app to Hindi users in early 2023 at Google for India 2022 Event.
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- Easy access to verified official documents from Digilocker on the user’s android phone
Many people store multiple images of essential documents like aadhaar cards, PAN cards, and driver’s licenses on their phones. They often use these images regularly to fill out online passport applications, sign up for citizen benefits schemes, and more. Google announced a collaboration with the National eGovernance Divison (NeGD) to allow people to access their authentic documents directly from the Files by Google app on Android at the Google for India 2022 Event.
This functionality of Google is built on privacy and security, where documents stored in Files by Google will be in an isolated environment on the user’s device, and they can access using a unique lock screen authentication.
Google implements a unique AI model to scan and identify essential documents on a user’s phone and then leverages OCR technology and machine learning models to identify relevant texts and gather this information into a quick and simple view. According to Google, all these models run entirely offline and cannot be accessed by anyone, including Google.
- Leveraging deep learning to improve fraud detection in Google Pay
Since Google Pay has completed five years in India, enhancing the extensive impact of digital payments for millions of people who do online transactions is challenging. As Google continues to find ways to streamline paying online, safety continues to strengthen those ways.
Google uses advanced methods in its safety engine to analyze aggregated transaction patterns of millions of users related to a graph of a billion nodes. This method helps identify fraudulent behavior and then uses its intelligent language engine of Google to flash the warning and notify the user in their preferred language. Occasionally, Google generates a quick vibration to get the user’s attention.
Google announced Google pay’s new feature at the Google For India 2022 Event for accessing users’ transaction history in simple language. With the new feature, you can ask Google pay queries in a natural language like ‘Show me how much I spent on coffee last week.’
- Collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science on ‘Project Vani’
Google is working on its vision to provide an exclusive internet experience to every user in their choice of language via text or voice. As a part of this vision, Google has collaborated with the Indian Institute of Science on ‘Project Vani’ to collect and compose open-source speech data from the 733 districts of India and made it available through the Government of India’s Bhashini project.
- Collaboration with the Government of Telangana to deliver India’s vision of Digital Agriculture
Google supports partnerships to empower AI’s impact on agriculture and share the perks of AI technology across the country. Google is collaborating with the Government of Telangana as it explores AI-based solutions for agriculture innovation for six million farmers in the state. Google is also partnering with Cropin, a global agricultural ecosystem intelligence provider, to improve applications to track land use and bring digital services to farmers.
- Collaboration with IIT Madras with a grant of $1 million to a multidisciplinary center for responsible AI
Since India’s digital ecosystem increasingly adopts and uses AI, Google is committed to sharing the best practices it developed in 2018 when Google began campaigning for responsible AI. To build a foundation of interpretability, fairness, privacy, and security, Google supports establishing the multidisciplinary center for Responsible AI through the $1 million fund granted to the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. The center for responsible AI is a first of its kind in India that aims to bring together legal experts, sociologists, technologists, and policymakers from academia, government, and industry to study all the aspects of responsible AI.