Hike, the Indian equivalent of WhatsApp, has entered a partnership with Indraprastha Institute of Technology Delhi (IIIT-D) to kick-start research in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The development comes part of Hike’s larger mission of dividing the AI gap by increasing research collaborations with stakeholders and academia to help enable more deep-rooted research in AI & ML in the country. As part of this initiative, the instant messaging app will also collaborate with more Indian educational institutions in the near future.
“We are extremely excited about the talent & innovation present in this country, through our research collaborations we aim to help nourish this talent further. By facilitating this research opportunity, we want to help enable the Indian academia to connect to early-stage research and support the translation of that research to fuel advancement in the AI & ML ecosystem,” added Anshuman Misra, VP Operations, Hike.
The initiative is also aimed at enabling an ecosystem of research within the country that will help advance technological competence and know-how in the field of AI & ML. This will also include new age research-led innovation in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Speech, Link Prediction, Deep Learning and Computer Vision.
Commenting on the development, Tanmoy Chakraborty, Director, Laboratory for Computational Social Systems (LCS2), Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi said. “We are extremely proud to be beginning this partnership with Hike. A project of this depth is one of the first in the AI & ML ecosystems, and we hope this encourages more Indian academia to partner with Hike. We believe this will play a huge role in facilitating our students to help create a future shaped by open research.”
The company is known to be building one of the largest repositories of AI and ML enabled stickers for its local messaging platform. In addition, the company is currently working on a range of White papers, projects, and initiatives.
The Delhi-based venture-backed by SoftBank, Tiger Global, Tencent, Foxconn and Bharti. Till date, it has raised $261 million. In August 2016, Hike raised its Series D round of funding led by Tencent and Foxconn at a valuation of $1.4 Billion and achieved the feat of being one of the fastest to attain Unicorn status amongst Indian start-ups in under 4 years.
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Akshaya Asokan works as a Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine. She has previously worked with IDG Media and The New Indian Express. When not writing, she can be seen either reading or staring at a flower.