Bhashini is a small team at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) working on a chatbot for WhatsApp that uses ChatGPT data to provide relevant responses to questions. The chatbot also supports voice notes because some people, particularly farmers in rural areas, may not always want to type their questions.
WhatsApp could soon become a key search engine for important government programmes serving India’s estimated 150 million farmers thanks to an ambitious national programme that aims to create enormous datasets of samples of Indian voices in multiple local languages using a crowdsourcing model and the immensely popular AI chatbot ChatGPT. This development comes at a time when Microsoft and Google are battling for control of internet search’s future.
In essence, voice memos could be used to make requests to the chatbot, which would then respond with a ChatGPT-generated voice-based response. The chatbot, which is currently being tested, is being developed with the various languages spoken by rural and agricultural residents of India, who are the segments of the population in the country who are most dependent on government programs and subsidies.
Even though the responses produced by ChatGPT have so far impressed many with their capacity to answer complex questions in an enticing and eloquent manner, the development of a national Indian language public digital platform will be crucial to the success of the WhatsApp chatbot that the Bhashini team is developing. The official said that in order to construct such a language model, extensive datasets of the numerous Indian national languages would be required.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, according to senior government officials, was given a simulation of this bot before he discussed it at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year. The chatbot was demonstrated to The Indian Express, and upon receiving a voice memo query regarding the specifics of the Prime Minister Awas Yojana, it successfully responded.