The MoU is envisaged to advance research and development (R&D) in the burgeoning AI space
India AI and Meta will also consider establishing a Centre of Excellence to foster homegrown startups in the emerging technologies domain
The collaboration will also enhance Indian startups’ accessibility to AI compute resources and Meta's AI research models
Government-backed India AI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with social media giant Meta to foster collaboration in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies.
India AI is an independent business unit (IBU) under the Digital India Corporation.
As part of the agreement, the two sides will establish a framework for cooperation in the field of emerging technologies. Meta’s open-source AI model will also be made available for Indian AI startups. The MoU is also envisaged to advance research and development (R&D) in the burgeoning space.
India AI and Meta will also consider establishing a Centre of Excellence to foster homegrown startups in the emerging technologies domain. Besides, the collaboration will also enhance Indian startups’ accessibility to AI compute resources and Meta’s AI research models such as LlaMA (Large Language Model Meta AI), Massively Multilingual Speech, and No Language Left Behind.
Meta’s AI models will be leveraged to prioritise building datasets in Indian languages to enable translation and large language models. The effort will largely be focussed on low-resource languages and will target fostering ‘social inclusion’ and improving government service delivery, and spurring innovation.
Under the initiative, the two parties will also focus on raising awareness about AI, and promote responsible AI practices via development of comprehensive tools and guidelines.
The MoU was signed by India AI CEO Abhishek Singh and director and Meta India’s head of public policy Shivnath Thukral during an event on Wednesday (July 26).
“… Through this partnership with Meta, the joint research and development endeavours will tackle large-scale challenges by leveraging cutting-edge AI technologies like Llama and other open-source solutions,” said Singh.
Commenting on the development, Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, said, “… Giving businesses, startups and researchers access to these (AI) technologies can open up a world of social and economic opportunities. ‘India AI’ is an exciting programme and with close collaboration between government and industry, we can strengthen India’s digital leadership and help to ensure AI tools are built for India’s unique needs.”
It is pertinent to note that this is not the first time that the social media juggernaut has collaborated with Indian authorities on an AI-related initiative. In June this year, Meta announced a $250K fund for Indian startups and developers focussed on building products for the mixed reality segment.
Earlier this year, the social media company, in partnership with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), shortlisted 120 startups for its XR startup accelerator programme, which aims to back 40 early-stage XR startups with a grant of INR 20 Lakh each.
On the other hand, the government has also increased its focus on spurring the homegrown AI ecosystem. The space has seen rapid adoption since OpenAI debuted its generative AI chatbot earlier this year. While the space has been fraught with challenges, the government has more or less put its weight behind the emerging space and called for scaling it up further.