BENGALURU: While our phone comes equipped with a keyboard that has the option to switch to many languages, typing in your local language could be a big hassle. Inaccuracy in predictions and unnecessary corrections are some topics that are regular talking points online. Many Internet memes have also been created on the subject.
What if you don’t need to type on your keyboard at all? How about just speaking to your phone and what you say magically appears as text?
Although not through magic,but, a deep understanding and use of artificial intelligence and powerful neural networks, a Bengaluru-based startup called the Liv.Ai has devised such a technology.
Subodh Kumar, co-founder of the startup says, “Presently our tech can recognise eight Indian languages and in the next few months we are planning to add another two new ones.” Besides, Hindi and English, the tech can recognise Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali and other major Indian languages. Tamil and Malayalam are the other two languages that will be added very soon. “Tamil was very difficult to work with as it is one of those languages that are not so easy to translate from speech to text. It took us quite a lot of time and ingenuity but we were finally able to crack it,” says Subodh.
The speech recognition technology is available in the form of apps such as the messaging app Gappi and the keyboard app Lipikaar and is free for download. With the speech to text tech mastered, the startup is also working on text to speech tech that will be out very soon. It is also working in the areas of customer care automation, speech assistants and speech analytics. “Besides keyboard companies, a few companies have also approached us for automation of customer care services. It is just the next step in automation of jobs,” says Subodh. The startup also has got into a few OEM (original equipment manufacturers) partnerships. Subodh is an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus who founded the startup with two college mates.
At the Global Mobile App Summit and Awards(GMASA) in the city recently, the startup got quite the attention. A few marketing executives also approached Subodh with proposals to market it across many platforms. Subodh, however, says, “If your innovation is good I think word will travel on its own. There is no need to market it. Our product has become quite popular through word of mouth. It is not for nothing that our motto is ‘to give a voice to a billion people.’ We are seeing an interest from many other quarters,” says Subodh.