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Chatbots in India
 
 

> http://www.quora.com/Artificial-Intelligence-in-India

I’m in India now, and on my way to Bangalore (aka Bengaluru).  I’ve asked both Erwin van Lun and Richard Wallace for chatbot contacts in India and Bangalore, so far without luck.  Can anyone add anything to what’s on the Quora topic “Artificial Intelligence in India” at the above link?

 

 
  [ # 1 ]

> Added to Quora

My friend Raj and I discussed VoiceXML systems in call centers in India. I suggested automation to detect emotions of a caller, may qualify as an intelligent system. Please discuss the latest in India?

 

 

 
  [ # 2 ]

> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_relationship_management

Of course India is famous for call centers.  Call centers fall under the rubric of Customer Relationship Management; and, CRM is currently the biggest business use case for “automated chat solutions”.  I’m already planning to meet with Vimagino in Bangalore to learn more about their http://www.vhelp.me/ platform, apparently compatible with Salesforce and Zoho CRM plug and play solutions.

 

 
  [ # 3 ]

> http://www.meetup.com/India-Robotics/

Yesterday I went to the second India Robotics Meetup in Bengaluru, above link.

> http://andyrobo.com/

A representative of local company “Andy Robot” talked about their new Android based product, above.

> http://theubi.com/

“The Ubiquitous Computer”, by Canadian company Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation, was also mentioned in the context of conversational user interfaces for the Internet of Things, see above link.

 

 
  [ # 4 ]

> Deepak Ravindran: we’re converting dumb phones to smartphones, that’s it

> No smartphone? No problem. Deepak Ravindran has a search engine for you

I met with a truly remarkable company today in Bangalore, Innoz.in.  They are actually creating an Internet GUI frontend that communicates across an SMS backend, called Brownie (thinkbrownie.com).  Apparently, they are the largest developer network in South Asia, with more than 10,000 independent apps for it already, including SMS chatbots:

http://55444.in/apps/alice/
http://55444.in/apps/chatbot/
http://55444.in/apps/priya/
http://55444.in/apps/selena/

Not only does their Brownie GUI have voice input, but also “SMS hotspot” capability.  They even showed me how they parse an ebook, send it over SMS, and re-assemble it on the other side….

 

 
  [ # 5 ]
Marcus Endicott - Nov 9, 2013:

They even showed me how they parse an ebook, send it over SMS, and re-assemble it on the other side….

I’d hate to see this service used on an account with per-text-message charges. big surprise

On the whole, however, it sounds fascinating. smile

 

 
  [ # 6 ]
Dave Morton - Nov 9, 2013:

I’d hate to see this service used on an account with per-text-message charges.

50 cents a month flat rate for unlimited texting… in 15 developing countries.  ;^)

 

 
  [ # 7 ]

Though I’m not sure how long it’ll be until smartphones take over and the service becomes obsolete, at this time it is brilliant!

 

 
  [ # 8 ]

Sounds like a fantastic way to use existing infrastructure to bring people internet access. Cool!

The wired article does make the service sound more “one way” though. You can post fb and twitter updates, but can you read a twitter feed, for example? And it sounds like there are separate apps for each supported website. Is the service only compatible with certain websites, or can you in principle get a text version of “any” website (say, any site with an RSS feed for example).

At any rate, it sounds like a great idea. I think they could even find some ground in Europe and America, considering how often I find myself without 3G coverage. raspberry

 

 
  [ # 9 ]

Marcus,

Thanks for sharing your fantastic journey to India.  With great enthusiasm, I am looking at adding a Text To Speech (TTS) module to Linux for the Bengali language:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/tts-indianlang/files/Bengali_tts_linux/

 

 
  [ # 10 ]

I’m back in South India for the second winter in a row, and started this time in Kochi (formerly Cochin) at Startup Village, where I visited among others:

2x Internet of Things companies

- getmyrico.com
- maidoven.com

2x robotics companies

- asimovrobotics.com
- sastrarobotics.com

1x artificial intelligence company

- zyboorg.com

 

 
  [ # 11 ]

> http://ltrc.iiit.ac.in/icon/2014/

I’m at Goa University this weekend, for “ICON-2014: 11th International Conference on Natural Language Processing”.  Yesterday, I attended an amazing pre-conference workshop, titled Question Answering Techniques for Structured, Semi-Structured and Unstructured Information Sources, instructed by Manoj Chinnakotla, Manish Shrivastava, and Radhika Mamidi.  I’ll post links to their informative slides, once available.

 

 
  [ # 12 ]

> whatshash.com by @7spantech

WhatsHash is a very simple interactive service on WhatsApp. It provides the information on the go.

Just send the service id to the above mobile number in WhatsApp and you’ll get the prompt and latest info with respect to that service.

> 7span.com (Ahmedabad, Gujarat)

We are a passionate team of designers, developers & innovators, who can visualize and develop breathtaking graphics, websites and apps for your business.

 

 
  [ # 13 ]

> niki.ai / @talktoniki

Niki is an AI based Automated virtual chat agent that can accept orders. It is enabling AI assisted buying for consumers using chat as medium of communication and accepting their orders across domains such as movie ticketing, recharge, food ordering, cab booking, laundry services etc.

> techbins.com (Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh)

Techbins is a company founded by IIT Alumni with a vision to make technology simpler and more accessible. Since its inception, Techbins has been focussing on building smart solutions on cloud, mobile, web and desktop.

 

 
  [ # 14 ]

> thelightapp.com (Pune, Maharashtra)

Light is the worlds first answering engine built on machine learning, man-machine hybrid and NLP technology. Light gives relevant and usable answers to any question you may have, instead of search links. The Light answering engine is ever evolving, feeding on information contributed by everyone, with the aim to become a system that will one day have all the answers.

Videos:
- Light: Answering Engine powered by NLP and machine learning
- Founder and CEO of The Light App - Answering Engine | Q&A

Reference:
- Indian engineers develop ‘Light’ which could make you stop using Google search (Mar 2015)

 

 
  [ # 15 ]

What I’ve learned the past week visiting Hyderabad, in the new Indian state of Telangana:

> ozonetel.com

I came to Hyderabad to visit Ozonetel, a cloud telephony company, who are now working on speech recognition tailored to Indian English.  Their two main products are kookoo.io, a cloud communications API, and cloudagent.io, a cloud contact center.  (Their two main competitors are plivo.com and twilio.com.)

References:
- yourstory.com/tag/ozonetel

> iiith.org

The good folks at Ozonetel referred me to the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT Hyderabad) startup incubator, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) of the IIIT-H Foundation.

> ltrc.iiit.ac.in

The IIITH Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the portal to the Language Technologies Research Center of IIIT Hyderabad, consisting of four research laboratories:
- Natural Language Processing-Machine Translation Lab
- Anusaaraka Lab
- Speech and Vision Lab
- Search and Information Extraction Lab

> supergenieapp.com (Hyderabad, Telangana)

At CIE, I was referred to SuperGenie, an assistant app, being launched that very day.  SuperGenie is a hybrid app, using a mechanical turk model on the backend, however working toward full automation.  (Their main competitors are haptik.co and helpchat.in, also following the hybrid mechanical turk model.  Haptik was originally a Mumbai startup, and Helpchat started life as Akosha in New Delhi.)

References:
- yourstory.com/tag/akosha
- yourstory.com/tag/haptik

> sites.google.com/site/awazyp

As an aside, the behemoth Tata Consultancy Services operates a facility directly across the road from IIIT Hyderabad, which seems even larger than the university itself; however, their main Speech and Natural Language effort appears to be based at TCS Innovation Labs in Mumbai, where they are working on projects like AgentAssess and AgentAssist (see awazyp link above for details).

 

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