None of women in the Bangalore trial had heard of ChatGPT and some of them had given up on receiving aid after struggling with language barriers, and government officials and middlemen demanding bribes.

The Bangalore trials were led by Saurabh Karn and his team at the nonprofit OpenNyAI. By feeding a collection of millions of parallel sentences spoken in different Indian languages into machine translation software, and adding thousands of hours of dialogue for speech recognition, the bot, named Jugalbandi, offers text-to-speech multi-language translation on the fly. For instance, a rural farmer can pose a question in Haryanvi, the language spoken just outside Delhi, and the tool translates it into English, searches the database for an appropriate answer, and then translates the answer back to Haryanvi and voices it out in a human voice via Meta Platforms Inc.’s WhatsApp to the farmer…

Vijayalakshmi, who goes by a single name as is common in southern India, voiced a question to a bot in her native Kannada language on education scholarships. Moments later, a human-like voice responded to explain the government aid available to her 15-year-old son.

Here is the full story, via the excellent Samir Varma.

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