Google Launches New AI-Based Project Navlekha, Targets Vernacular Audiences

Google Launches New AI-Based Project Navlekha, Targets Vernacular Audiences

Rajan Anandan, VP, India and Southeast Asia, speaking at the Google for India 2018 event.

"Building for India has often meant Google building for everyone all around the world". This rush of new users online has greatly transformed the Indian economy and culture, from the rise of local startups to the growing use of e-commerce, digital payments, ride sharing and online video by people from Jammu to Thiruvananthapuram.

It's quite clear that the internet ecosystem is concerned with India as it is the next major frontier for major tech companies.

With Project Navlekha, Google plans to get offline newspapers and other print publications online. The UPI-based payment platform was launched in September a year ago to help users make payments in retail stores and conduct online transactions across apps. The technology giant also said that the search feed will now display users' favourite topics of interest as well as news, from both English and Hindi sources, using AI. Businesses and merchants can also now pay for Google Ads using Google Pay.

Google Maps also added better public transport guidance, which will inform riders of upcoming stops and alerts on when to get off.

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Google is also working with over 15000 retail stores across the India for making Google Pay available.

Google Pay has also partnered with HDFC, ICICI, Federal Bank and Kotak Mahindra to provide, instant, pre-approves loans to Google Pay users.

Android Go, also known as Android Oreo (Go edition), is a stripped-down version of Android created to run on entry-level smartphones. While this does bring it under Google's recently consolidated payment services, Google Pay in India will continue to use the UPI protocol instead of the NFC-based system used in other countries. Google has already started testing this in New Delhi and Bangalore.

"We have learnt that when we build for India, we build for the world, and we believe that numerous innovations and features we have pioneered with Tez will work globally", said Caesar Sengupta, general manager for payments and Next Billion Users initiative at Google. The Google Go app will also highlight the words it's reading aloud as it goes, letting you follow along, or if you put it in another language let you try to learn it as you go. Google had last month launched turn-by-turn navigation to Google Maps Go in the form of another app, Navigation for Google Maps Go. This will allow Google to include 20,000 routes and 1500 cities in its Maps Go service.