E-com player Flipkart has introduced voice assistant capability on its platform, to make buying experience simpler and natural. Introduced in Flipkart’s grocery store, Supermart, the Voice Assistant, built by an in-house technology team, will enable consumers to discover and buy products easily using voice commands in multiple languages, said a company statement.
The voice-first conversational AI platform has been built by a in-house technology team with solutions for speech recognition, natural language understanding, machine translation, and text-to-speech for Indian languages. These solutions are capable of understanding vernacular languages such as Hindi, e-commerce categories and products, and tasks such as searching for a product, understanding product details, placing an order, etc.
The indigenously developed AI platform is built to automatically detect the language spoken by the user, and in real-time transcribe, translate, transliterate and understand the user’s intent to have engaging shopping-related conversations in various Indian languages, as per the company.
Flipkart undertook a detailed ethnographic study for over five months in multiple towns and cities to gather insights and opportunities which led to the development of Voice Assistant for grocery. The research brought forward interesting insights from users wanting to do a variety of tasks using voice while seeking easy accessibility of services.
The tech team at Flipkart travelled across the country to understand various contours of building a voice capability and fine-tuned it to identify and respond to the different variations in Indian languages.
With its ability to understand variations in commands in both English and Hindi while also responding to mixed language commands, the Voice Assistant would help consumers build their grocery basket by simply talking to the assistant, similar to talking to a shopkeeper, Flipkart said.
Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Flipkart, said, “As a homegrown e-commerce company, Flipkart has been at the forefront of building India-first innovations and video, vernacular and voice have been the key pillars of solving for the adoption of e-commerce in India. While we have seen great adoption for our video and vernacular offerings, the next step in that direction is to solve for the voice capability for e-commerce.”