Flipkart has announced that it’s acquiring Liv.ai, a Bengaluru-based startup involved in the development of speech recognition platforms using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
After the acquisition, Liv.ai will become Flipkart’s center of excellence for voice-based solutions, working towards making the shopping experience for buyers more personalized and conversational. Flipkart hopes to leverage Liv.ai’s speech-to-text tools to provide Indian online buyers a shopping experience in their own native language.
Founded in 2015, Liv.ai has built speech recognition APIs that allow for low-latency conversion of spoken commands to text in multiple Indian languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, and Malayalam. The company has developed the APIs using proprietary technology architecture, and deep learning algorithms.
“The next wave of growth of Internet users is coming from Tier 2+ cities and 70% of these current internet users are native / vernacular language speakers and this proportion is only increasing. Given the complexities in typing on vernacular keyboards, voice will become a preferred interface for new shoppers,” Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said.
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Krishnamurthy further added, “One does understand that building a voice interface is complex and especially challenging in Indian context, given multiple languages and accents. The team at Liv has been able to solve this through multiple technological innovations including deep neural net-based methods. This expertise is a big capability add-on for us and we are delighted to welcome them to Flipkart. Ultimately, we want to give our customers a conversational e-commerce experience and believe that with the voice interface the opportunities are endless including discovery, search, engagement, transactions etc. With Liv, we’re one step closer making e-commerce accessible to emerging users.”