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Flipkart bends again towards Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Acquires AI Startup Liv.ai

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India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart has started digging the possibilities to offer conversational shopping platform to its customers. This is also viewed as a step to compete with Amazon’s Alexa. Flipkart has recently announced that it has acquired Liv.ai, an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Astarc Ventures, which has built a speech to text conversion platform.

 
Astarc Ventures claims to be the first Indian company to build proprietary speech-to-text APIs which enable speech-to-text conversion in 10 Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, among others.

 

Flipkart’s bend towards Artificial Intelligence

The interest of Flipkart in AI is not new. The other areas where they are already working on application of AI are:

  • Classification of a transaction as genuine or fraudulent.
  • Backend services like warehousing and logistics in backend to provide better customer service.
  • Intent modeling and product discovery to ensure that the products are bought by authentic buyers instead of resellers.
  • Delivery service for optimizing last-mile connect to customers.

 
Flipkart will integrate Liv.ai which has build its capabilities for conversational shopping into their business unit. CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy is hopeful that Liv.ai’s technology can bring potential applications in areas directly or indirectly related to its customers.

 

Anticipated Benefits

  • The acquisition may help Flipkart to cross the language barrier faced by its individual customers and other companies.
  • The company expects to tap more than 200 million new users especially those who are familiar only with their respective regional languages.
  • Looking at the difficulties of people to type on keyboards, Flipkart expects voice to become more preferred interface for its customers.
  • Customer care automation and speech analytics will make searching specific products on Flipkart easy for the native language speakers.

 
Liv.ai is based on deep learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) offer its products via voice keyboard and chatbots. Developing a multi-lingual voice interface is not only complicated, but also challenging as it is expected to understand the accents of people to translate and generate appropriate response to the customers.

 
Flipkart wants to offer a conversational e-commerce experience to their customers. They believe that the voice interface will bring endless opportunities to its users like quick discovery of desired product resulting into customer engagement. Hence, with these acquisitions, Flipkart is making all its efforts to make e-commerce accessible to emerging users.

 
Flipkart always keeps their head up in understanding the customer behavior and this has led to the acquisition. Liv.ai will be made Flipkart’s center of excellence to provide Voice solutions. By this, the company is expecting to improve end-to-end shopping experience for its users.

 
The e-commerce users, especially Flipkart customers are keeping the eyes on the new development to roll out to have better shopping experience.

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