Bhashini – Bringing Different Indian Languages Together

India is a linguistically rich country, with 22 official languages and hundreds more that are unofficial. While around 50% of the population speaks Hindi and 10% speaks English, there is a major linguistic gap in terms of accessibility to numerous services and information, that these unofficial language speakers face.

Enter Bhashini AI (artificial intelligence). This innovative online platform is here to shake things up on the language scene and create better access to multiple government and financial services.

But what is Bhashini AI and its purpose? What innovation does it bring to the table? And what is its current market coverage? These are just some of the questions we seek to answer in this blog article. Keep reading to discover more.

What is Bhashini AI and what is its purpose?

Bhashini AI is an artificial intelligence tool that is also available on Android and iOS devices, which helps users of unofficial Indian languages access data, information, and services through translated texts.

The translation of these texts takes place through anonymous crowdsourcing, with hundreds of people already involved in the process. It is free to use and was unveiled by India’s Prime Minister in 2022 as a way of broadening access to other Indian speakers, apart from Hindi speakers, so that there is greater inclusivity and access to services for a wider portion of the population.

Bhashini AI gathers multiple language inputs for Indian languages, training its language models to offer increasingly accurate translations. Through an initiative called Bhasha Daan, diverse contributions are encouraged. These come in the form of transcriptions, voice recordings, translations, and image labeling. This fosters a collective culture of developing inclusivity in Indian languages.

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In short, Bhasha Daan includes the following categories for citizens to contribute to:

  • Suno India: People can contribute by typing out audio content or validating transcriptions created by others.
  • Bolo India: This involves donating one’s voice through sentence recordings or validating audio recordings contributed by others.
  • Likho India: Contributions are made by translating a text that’s provided and validating translations submitted by others.
  • Dekho India: Contributions are made by typing text seen, labeling images, or validating images contributed by others.

Innovation

In the world of AI, with ChatGPT dominating through its 100+ million users, Bhashini AI uses natural language models and machine learning to “learn” how certain Indian languages are used. The innovative capacity of this AI tool has the potential to give people in rural areas access to products and services that they previously didn’t have.

For example, it’s a great way of offering data in one’s native Indian language related to scholarships and education, grants, financial services, government websites, transportation network ticketing, and more. With a high smartphone and internet penetration in India, access to technology is available.

However, with a major portion of the population not being able to speak Hindi, English, or other official languages, this creates a barrier that prevents many from tapping into opportunities that are as yet unknown to them.

Market coverage

Bhashini AI will begin with 22 languages, including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Gujarati.

In addition to its ability to translate between Indian languages, Bhashini can also translate between Indian languages and other major world languages, such as English, French, and Spanish.

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When it comes to Suno India, Likho India, Bolo India and Dekho India, the open repository has 1,501, 598, 773, and 664 contributors, respectively.

Bhashini AI: A catalyst to propel Indian technology onto the global stage in the translation industry

With a high number of contributors, who can earn badges for their contributing efforts, Bhashini AI is poised as a catalyst that can propel Indian technology onto the global stage in the translation industry. For instance, it is possible for unofficial Indian language speakers to use the AI tool to do things such as:
Bhashini AI

  • Check bank balances
  • Send money
  • Book LPG cylinders
  • Recharge FASTags
  • Renew insurance
  • And much more

What Bhashini AI brings to the table is a crowdsourced effort to strengthen translation capacity by humans for humans. The ability to access website information, which is predominantly in English, government services, financial products, educational offerings, and so much more, means that unofficial Indian language speakers will no longer feel alienated from these products and services.

Ultimately, Bhashini AI looks to foster much greater inclusivity in service provision and ensure greater access to this by a greater portion of the population. In addition to this, the voice feature means that voice searches can be carried out for those who are illiterate, meaning that no one gets left behind.

The text-to-speech functionality as well as voice-over opportunities means that a massive Indian language database is currently being created and this has the potential to revolutionize access to knowledge, information, products, and services for previously marginalized groups.

Conclusion

As technology makes further dramatic advances with every passing day, it’s essential that we use it to introduce inclusivity through knowledge sharing and access. That’s the exact purpose for which Bhashini AI was created.

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And it’s only a matter of time before contributions start growing and the AI is trained ever more efficiently to produce more accurate results. These will help previously marginalized groups gain greater access to information and knowledge that they were excluded from.

With all this in mind, Bhashini AI has the potential to revolutionize the translation industry for Indian languages, with strong human input and contributions to create more accurate outputs that help improve the lives of Indian language speakers.