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Google setting up AI lab ‘Google Research India’ in Bengaluru


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is extending its frontier in technology and knowledge. Amidst global economy transforming into a digital economy and new AI technologies being introduced at an incredibly fast pace, Google has announced its plan to launch an AI lab in Bengaluru – Google Research India.

Launched with the motive of creating products not just for India but for the rest of the world as well, the lab will be led by Manish Gupta, a fellow in Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

As announced in the ‘Google for India’ event today, the labs will work with two major focuses. First is advancing fundamental computer science AI research by building a strong team and partnering with the research community across the country. 

Second is applying the research to tackle big problems in the field of healthcare, agriculture, and education.

Importantly, Google has also taken on board professor Milind Tambe, Director of AI for Social Good, to work in the space of building a research program around the above lines.

The lab would be the part of Google’s global network researchers and will participate in conferences, publish research in scientific papers, and collaborate closely with one another. 

Two years ago, Google had acquired a Bengaluru-based AI startup, Halli Labs. Halli, which primarily develops solutions to traditional problems using AI, MI, deep learning and NLP technologies, was slated to join Google’s Next Billion Users team.

At a time when AI is being referred to as the new electricity, it has caught the attention of the Indian government and the tech community in recent years.

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, in her maiden Budget speech, said that the government would focus on new-age skills like AI, IoT, Big Data, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality and Robotics. 

Last year, NITI Aayog had piloted AI solutions in the sectors comprising agriculture, education, and healthcare to identify and weed out real problems through the use of frontier technology.

With long term plan in AI, the Indian government also formed a committee in 2018 to make a roadmap to roll out a nationwide AI program including robotics and data analytics.

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