U.S.-headquartered Google has announced the setting up of an AI research lab in Bengaluru that will work on advancing artificial intelligence-related research with an aim to solve problems in sectors such as healthcare, agriculture and education. Details

  • India is one of the key markets for Google.
  • The company in the recent past has launched a number of India centric products and initiatives, like the BOLO app, rail Wi-Fi project and its flood forecasting initiative that piloted in Patna, that cater to the needs and requirements of the people living in India.
  • Google's Bengaluru based AI research lab will focus on two things.
  • Firstly, it will focus on the advancement of Computer Science research in India, wherein it will focus on Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Languages, Speech, Systems, and other related areas.
  • Secondly, it will focus on applying this research to tackle big problems in areas pertaining to healthcare, agriculture, and education.
  • The lab will also focus on making apps and services that will focus on helping millions of people in the country.
  • Google is also expanding its Google Pay payment app which already has 67 million users and has done transactions worth $110 billion so far.
  • Google Pay is rolling out 'tokenized cards' in the next few weeks to offer a secure way of paying for things using a digital token on the phone rather than the actual card number.
  • The company has also introduced ‘Spot Platform’ within Google Pay, which will enable merchants to create new experiences that bridge the offline and online world.
  • Google has also launched an Internet Saathi programme, a digital literacy initiative of Google India and Tata Trusts, aimed at empowering women in rural India in 2.6 lakh villages across the country.
  • The programme was launched as a pilot in Rajasthan in July 2015.
  • The company said the programme has contributed towards bridging the digital gender divide in rural India (female to the male ratio from 1 in 10 in 2015 to 4 in 10 in 2018) and will expand to cover two new states -- Punjab & Odisha.
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