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Microsoft Partners with Sarvam AI to Boost Indic Voice AI in India

In a significant move that underscores the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI) in global markets, tech giant Microsoft has announced a strategic partnership with Indian startup Sarvam AI, aimed at expanding its AI product offerings in Asia. This collaboration, revealed in a Microsoft blog post dated February 8, will integrate Sarvam’s Indic voice large language model (LLM) with Microsoft’s Azure AI platform, leveraging Azure OpenAI and Machine Learning services to host and enhance the performance of Sarvam’s LLMs.

This initiative is part of Microsoft’s broader commitment to fostering AI-driven growth and innovation in India, a market with immense potential due to its vast and diverse linguistic landscape. Puneet Chandok, President of Microsoft India and South Asia, articulated the company’s vision of supporting India’s transformation into an “AI-first nation,” emphasizing the empowerment of individuals through accessible and inclusive voice-driven AI solutions.

Sarvam’s LLM is specifically designed to cater to Indic languages, starting with Hindi, which is spoken by nearly 609 million people across the Indian subcontinent. This focus on local languages is expected to make AI applications more precise, cost-effective, and user-friendly for the Indian population. The natural voice-based interface being developed will facilitate more intuitive interactions with technology, aligning with Microsoft’s view of voice as the most natural interface for generative AI applications in Indian contexts.

The partnership also aims to accelerate the adoption of generative AI technologies among local businesses, fostering a more innovative and competitive ecosystem. Microsoft’s commitment to AI has been evident in its global strategy, with significant investments leading to an 18% increase in its year-end earnings for 2023 over the previous year. This growth has been attributed to the integration of AI across Microsoft’s technology stack, contributing to its valuation surpassing $3 trillion and overtaking Apple as the most valuable publicly traded company.

In addition to its venture with Sarvam AI, Microsoft has recently announced partnerships with global entities such as telecom giant Vodafone and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in the United States, focusing on worker-centric AI development. These collaborations underscore Microsoft’s commitment to leveraging AI for social and economic advancement, both in India and worldwide.

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