The Tech giant Google at its L10n event announced a few features focusing on Indian users. The list of new features is based on Indian languages and will also let them show search results between English and more Indian languages- Tamil, Telugu, Bangla, and Marathi. It has plans to expand this support for its app in the country including Maps, Search and Lens.
India is a country that has 22 official languages with dialects changing every hundred kilometers which is said to pose a formidable challenge for technology developers, who rely on commonly understood visual and spoken idioms to make tech products work universally. SO the company has announced a range of features to help deliver an even richer language experience to millions across India. These features will also improve the experience of Google products and services for Indian language users. And to do this Google has partnered with innovative local startups who are building solutions to cater to the needs of Indians in local languages. The tech giant also invested in ML & AI efforts at Google’s research center in India, to make advances in machine learning and AI models accessible to everyone across the ecosystem.
Nowoward the users in India can toggle Search results between English and four additional Indian languages: Tamil, Telugu, Bangla and Marathi. Some of the users try to search in English even if they really would prefer to see results in a local language they understand because this often takes three times as long, compared to English. In the coming months, the Search will be showing relevant content in supported Indian languages where appropriate, even if the local language query is typed in English. This feature will be serving bilingual people who are comfortable reading both English and an Indian language. According to Google, this functionality will be released in five Indian languages: Hindi, Bangla, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
In addition to this now Google is now also expanding the ability to select up to nine Indian languages in Google Maps where users can quickly and easily change their Maps experience into one of nine Indian languages, by simply opening the app, going to Settings, and tapping ‘App language’. This will also let the users to search for places, get directions and navigation, and interact with the Map in their preferred local language.
Apart from this Google Lens can now help you solve math problems by simply pointing your camera right from the search bar in the Google app. To do this, Lens first turns an image of a homework question into a query. Based on the query, it will show step-by-step guides and videos to help explain the problem.
Furthermore, Google has also developed Multilingual Representations for Indian Languages (or ‘MuRIL’) for India. The MuRIL will scale across languages and will provide support for transliterated text such as when writing Hindi using Roman script, which was something missing from previous models of its kind.
The Multilingual model also helps in determining the sentiment of the sentence. According to the company when someone says “Achha Hua account bandh nahi hua” would previously be interpreted as having a negative meaning, but MuRIL correctly identifies this as a positive statement. Or take the ability to classify a person versus a place: ‘Shirdi Ke sai baba’ would previously be interpreted as a place, which is wrong, but MuRIL correctly interprets it as a person.
The MuRIL, in the beginning, will support 16 Indian languages as well as English. For this, the company has also created a MuRIL source and it is currently available to download from the TensorFlow Hub, for free.
Google stated, “We hope MuRIL will be the next big evolution for Indian language understanding, forming a better foundation for researchers, students, startups, and anyone else interested in building Indian language technologies, and we can’t wait to see the many ways the ecosystem puts it to use.”
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