Ola's New AI: A Leap Towards Indigenous Technological Advancement

In a significant move, Ola, the Indian multinational ride-sharing company, has announced its decision to shift from Microsoft Azure to its own artificial intelligence (AI) platform, Krutrim. 

This decision comes in the wake of a controversy involving LinkedIn, a Microsoft-owned platform, and Bhavish Aggarwal, the CEO of Ola.

Krutrim, described as 'India's own AI' model, is a venture led by Bhavish Aggarwal. The name 'Krutrim' is derived from Sanskrit, meaning 'artificial'. The AI model was unveiled at a launch event in Bengaluru, where both Ola and Krutrim Si Designs, the AI venture, are headquartered.

Launched in April 2023, Krutrim Si Designs was set up by Aggarwal along with Krishnamurthy Venugopala Tenneti, a board member at ANI Technologies Limited, the parent company of Ola Cabs and Ola Electric.

Krutrim is a large language model (LLM) which has been trained on more than 2 trillion 'tokens', sub-words used in conversations. It will be available in two classifications: the base Krutrim model, and Krutrim Pro, the more powerful one. 

The base Krutrim model was introduced recently and will be available starting next month, while Krutrim Pro, with advanced capabilities for problem-solving and task execution, will be launched early next year.

One of the key features of Krutrim is its multilingual capability. The model understands 22 Indian languages and can generate content in ten of these. Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Odiya, Telugu are among the languages it can generate content in. 

The project team claims that Krutrim is larger than even GPT-4 in Indic language support.

When compared to other open-source LLMs trained with similar data volumes, Krutrim outperformed those on a range of industry-standard benchmarks, the company claims.

Krutrim has also achieved the distinction of becoming India's first AI unicorn. The startup, founded last year, is the fastest to become a unicorn in India. It has raised a funding round that values it at $1 billion.

The startup plans to launch a voice-enabled conversational AI assistant that understands and speaks multiple Indian languages. It also plans to develop in-house capability to manufacture chips optimised for AI compute.

The shift to Krutrim marks a significant step in Ola's journey towards technological self-reliance. It also underscores the growing importance of AI in the business landscape and the potential of indigenous AI models in transforming the technology ecosystem.

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