Reliance-backed BharatGPT set to unveil AI model ‘Hanooman’ in March

A powerful new player is about to enter the global AI race, backed by India’s Mukesh Ambani and some of country’s top engineering schools. According to media reports, the BharatGPT consortium is now preparing to launch “Hanooman,” a ChatGPT-esque large language model (LLM) tailored for the Indian market.

For those who are unaware, the BharatGPT consortium behind Hanooman stands out as a unique public-private partnership. Comprising of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries and eight of India’s elite IITs, including venerable institutions such as IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi, the consortium represents a convergence of industry and academia aimed at driving AI research, development, and adoption in India. Today, it aims to leverage the collective expertise and resources of its members to propel India onto the global AI stage, and Hanooman is the latest attempt to do so. According to media reports, the AI-powered model will begin to roll out its services next month in March. This development comes a day after Hanooman was revealed by Seetha Mahalaxmi Healthcare (SML), in partnership with BharatGPT.

“We have built an enterprise-ready family of foundational language models ranging up to 40 billion parameters in terms of size,” Vishnu Vardhan, founder of SML, commented on the matter. “The first four among the series which are 1.5 billion, 7 billion, 13 billion and 40 billion parameters will be released next month and will be open-sourced.”

Named in homage to the revered Hindu deity Hanuman, the Hanooman AI model comes alongside a plethora of innovative features, including advanced speech-to-text and text-to-video capabilities, alongside tailored solutions for diverse industry verticals, designed to enhance user experience and address the unique needs of Indian consumers. By prioritizing user-centric design principles and incorporating feedback from stakeholders across various sectors, BharatGPT aims to democratize access to AI technology and bridge the digital divide, particularly in rural and underserved communities. Hanooman is being jointly developed in partnership with several of the aforementioned IIT universities, while it receives support from Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. And if this is not enough, Reliance Jio will be developing customised models for specific purposes, and is already working on Jio Brain, a platform designed to utilise AI across its country-wide network.

And Hanooman isn’t a lone warrior either – startups like Sarvam and Krutrim are also creating open-source AI models for the world’s second-largest internet market. Unlike most LLMs designed for Western audiences, Hanooman boasts the ability to comprehend and respond in 11 Indian languages, a crucial feature for navigating the country’s diverse linguistic landscape (there are plans to expand this to 22 languages). This inclusivity opens doors for wider participation and potential impact, ensuring that the benefits of AI extend beyond English-speaking elites. Hanooman’s focus on four key sectors – healthcare, governance, financial services, and education – also deviates from the entertainment-oriented applications often associated with LLMs. Imagine AI-powered solutions aiding in early disease detection, streamlining bureaucratic processes, or personalizing education, potentially leading to improved healthcare outcomes, more efficient governance, and enhanced learning experiences, and you get an inkling about how Hanooman can be used.

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