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Pune Woman Trains AI with Marathi Language, Earns ₹400/Hour

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Updated On: 12 Feb 2024

Pune Woman Trains AI with Marathi Language, Earns ₹400/Hour

In today’s digital realm, the usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly increased. From creating breathtaking images to digital personal assistants to cyber security, AI has touched the lives of each one of us. Its rampant increase, covering diverse sectors, has made AI an integral part of our lives. An intriguing example of this is Baby Rajaram Bokale. Meet this 53-year-old woman hailing from the Kharadi area of Pune city, who excels in extraordinary multitasking skills. Baby Rajaram Bokale is the wonder woman who, aside from managing household chores and running a small business of grinding spices and chilli peppers, also trains AI datasets with Marathi lessons for Microsoft’s artificial intelligence tools. Upon completing this task, she receives an amount of $5 (approximately ₹400) per hour. She works for five hours over 11 days, totalling $25 (around ₹2,000) around a month.

How does she do it?

The reason behind this lies in Karya. Karya which emerged as a Microsoft Research Project in Bengaluru, is now an organisation, back in 2017. The purpose of Karya is to create datasets in various Indian languages to train AI models and conduct research, while also generating employment opportunities for Indians, particularly in rural regions. 

Baby Rajaram Bokale and women like her benefitted from Karya in response to their assistance in training the company’s AI models across several languages, specifically the underserved ones. The process is simple. Bokale is requested to open the app on her smartphone and start reading in Marathi aloud. The stories narrated by her are used in engagingly imparting practical knowledge. Bokale expressed her thoughts by saying that she is extremely proud of her voice being recorded and someone else is able to learn Marathi using her recordings. With the earnings she got from this, she was able to repair her grinder as well.

Simultaneously, she immerses herself in valuable lessons about personal finance embedded in these narratives. The stories, designed to be both informative and entertaining, cover topics such as banking, savings, and fraud prevention. Bokale has acquired the skills to make payments using India’s UPI payment system and has gained proficiency in utilizing her smartphone for various banking tasks, among other capabilities.

Even the CEO and co-founder of Karya, Manu Chopra, who is 27 years old, reported an article stating that there is a significant need and demand for datasets in underserved languages coupled with the fact that more than 78% of the Indian rural population possess smartphones these days. He emphasised that Karya thinks that rural people can be excellent builders of AI as well as excellent recipients of AI technologies. 

Even Microsoft mentioned that being in India without knowing or speaking Hindi or English, can impose difficulties in accessing technology that helps people thrive such as apps, tools, and digital resources that English and Hindi speakers take for granted. “The fact that hundreds of millions of potential customers could benefit from those technologies is why Microsoft and others are in a race to make their products available in those ‘under-resourced’ languages.”

Soundarya Kamat

Soundarya Kamat is an inquisitive individual with a deep passion for the formation of names and an expertise in freestyle writing. Her relentless curiosity drives her to research and explore the intricacies behind the origins and meanings of names, unraveling the stories they hold. Holding a certifi... Read More

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