E-commerce platform Flipkart on Tuesday announced a MoU with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Patna to help create industry-focused applied research in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML).
As part of this MoU, IIT Patna will undertake a number of programmes such as joint research activities, writing research papers, organising seminars, internship/mentorship opportunities and more.
The academic collaboration is expected to bring real-world industry exposure to students and scholars of IIT Patna, and provide an opportunity to the faculty members to work closely with Flipkart on research projects.
The e-commerce platform expects to foster an environment of collaboration in the areas of automation, AI, NLP and ML and help build critical national capabilities.
“With this MoU, we aim to establish deeper academia collaborations which could help students and the academia to leverage our data and platform knowledge to work on India specific e-commerce challenges, in addition to publishing research papers,” Mayur Datar, Chief Data Scientist, Flipkart, said in a statement.
According to the company, the MoU is a step to strengthen Flipkart’s academic collaborations.
“We are very pleased to have this MoU with Flipkart, which has churned out many India specific and India first innovations to solve for the adoption of e-commerce in India,” said Asif Ekbal, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Patna.
The research is particularly aimed at developing robust machine translation techniques for translating the large number of user reviews written in English into the Indian vernacular languages, according to the Institute.
“And at the same time will ensure that the translation process should preserve the domain knowledge, which is extremely crucial for the translation service providers (TSPs) that make use of machine translation (MT) in production,” Ekbal said.