Bengaluru-based food delivery major Swiggy is looking to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) -driven speech recognition models for its call centre process. The company has partnered with BPO and social enterprise IndiVillage to power the platform’s broader AI and machine learning (ML) charter.
This engagement will also include voice annotation work that provides training data for Swiggy’s ML algorithms. Swiggy, in its press statement, explained that there is a need to efficiently extract information from the call data when a call centre service executives move from one call to another. This will help the executive understand the ‘voice of the customers’ to enable a deeper understanding of the issues faced by customers and accordingly solve for the same.
This process would require labelled data, and this is where IndiVillage comes into play. It will support Swiggy by annotating dozens of hours of speech data featuring calls in Hindi, English and Hinglish. The foodtech giant noted that IndiVillage’s accurate and comprehensive service allowed Swiggy to establish a proof of concept for speech recognition.
Commenting on the partnership, Swiggy’s VP and head of applied research Hemant Misra said, “As a tech-first organisation, our vision is to deliver unparalleled convenience to our consumers, and this is a continuously evolving process. Considering the volume of transactions on the platform, we take an AI-led approach to deliver operations at scale.”
IndiVillage is a BPO and social enterprise using impact sourcing. It offers cutting-edge solutions in the area of image and data annotation, natural language processing, content optimisation to technology and ecommerce companies. Prior to this, IndiVillage has partnered with Amazon, Appen, Alegion and Mercato.
So far, vernacular content was the prime focus for D2C and B2C brands across sectors. All platforms whether ecommerce, OTT or social media had been aggressively trying to incorporate more vernacular and local content on their platforms to attract more users.
According to Inc42 Plus analysis in November 2019, the estimated market opportunity of the vernacular content in India is $53 Bn (2021) and given the lucrative market opportunity along with favourable market trends, the investment into vernacular startups is picking up pace.
The report also added that regional language startups raised $708 Mn across 49 deals between 2014 and Q3 of 2019. The top-funded startups in this space are Sharechat, DailyHunt, Roposo and Pratilipi. But now, it is time for innovation in voicetech.
Fireside Ventures’ Vinay Singh is one of the experts who has claimed that voice-based ecommerce will bring more users to brands. This is already being used by brands like Flipkart, which recently introduced the Voice Assistant to enable consumers to discover and buy products using voice commands in multiple languages, starting with Hindi and English.