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The potential for AI in India is immense, presenting vast opportunities for innovation and growth: Gautam Bhargava, Head of AI Engineering, Ola Krutrim

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In an exclusive interview with Express Computer, Gautam Bhargava, Head of AI Engineering at Ola Krutrim, provides insights into the transformative journey of Krutrim since December 2023. With a focus on enhancing accuracy, reliability, and cultural context understanding, Bhargava discusses the potential applications of Krutrim across diverse domains and its role in shaping the future of the AI ecosystem in India. With ongoing efforts to expand language coverage and engage with the developer community, Bhargava highlights Krutrim’s commitment to innovation and growth in the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence.

How has been the journey so far since December 2023? Any key areas of improvement?

Absolutely, we’re constantly learning from our customers and users, and it’s truly a journey, as you rightly pointed out. While we’ve certainly made significant improvements in performance, accuracy, and precision, this journey is far from complete. In fact, we’re just scratching the surface, and there’s still a lot of ground to cover. We’re thrilled about the prospects and energised to dive into the work that lies ahead.

How do you ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information generated by Krutrim, especially considering the factual inconsistencies?

LLMs are inherently generative tools, leveraging vast datasets to produce text. This grants them a high degree of creativity, which can be appreciated when generating content for tasks like school essays. However, this creativity becomes problematic when it leads to the fabrication of facts, undermining trust. Thus, our challenge is to discern between creative outputs and factual information. To address factual queries, we implement systems designed for verification.

While no system is infallible, we strive to distinguish between factual and creative content. Creativity allows for liberty, while factual accuracy demands adherence to truth as closely as possible.

What are the potential applications of Krutrim? And are there any ongoing collaborations with other companies or industries?

So, the applications of GenAI span across various domains, including marketing, legal, finance, technology, and even coding. Bhavish (CEO of Ola Cabs) highlighted how this technology will reshape the developer landscape, potentially involving millions globally. Krutrim’s role in this paradigm shift is significant, particularly in an Indian context, offering cost-effective solutions. The potential for AI in India is immense, presenting vast opportunities for innovation and growth.

Can you share on how Krutrim handles the challenge of understanding diverse Indian languages and the cultural contexts?

Our approach stems from the extensive training data we’ve gathered. We’ve invested significant effort into digitising Indian texts and audio, especially those not yet available in digital form and sourced from non-copyrighted materials. We believe this method ensures fairness in our data usage, as we digitise and incorporate it into our training data. This process imbues the LLM or foundational model with nuanced understanding based on the information it processes.

What sets us apart from Western models is our emphasis on Indian cultural context and indigenous sources of information. Currently, our output covers 11 languages, with the ambition to encompass all 22 languages. While we confidently assert proficiency in 11 languages, users may find surprising capabilities even in languages beyond our claimed expertise.

How do you see Krutrim contributing to the growth of the AI ecosystem in the future?

We aim to integrate seamlessly into the broader ecosystem by encouraging developers to create applications not only on the Krutrim foundational models but also within the Krutrim cloud infrastructure. Our focus is on fostering an ecosystem centered on developers who represent the future landscape of startups and major corporations. Through our provision of core capabilities, we contribute to the realisation of this vision.

How do you see the future of AI in India and what role can Krutrim play in shaping it?

India is going to be one of the biggest powerhouses in AI, as I see it, from my perspective.

Similar to how we witnessed the digital revolution unfold in India, albeit in a distinct manner compared to the West, our trajectory in AI will also be unique. Look at our payment system, for instance; it stands unparalleled globally. Our AI systems will be tailor-made for Indian businesses and the Indian context. Yet, their potential to benefit both businesses and society at large is immense. Just envision a personal education tutor accessible to every child in every village. That’s the transformative power of AI, and Krutrim is set to be a significant contributor to this movement.

What do you have in your technology roadmap in the next six to 12 months?

We’re currently exploring various models spanning different modalities and compute inference efficiencies. Simultaneously, we’re keen on engaging with the developer ecosystem, encouraging them to build applications on our Krutrim models. To facilitate this, we’ve developed APIs and SDKs for seamless integration.

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