Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Flipkart forges academic collaboration with IIT Patna

● Signs MoU for Joint Research in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning


Bengaluru, 18th August 2020: Flipkart, India’s homegrown ecommerce marketplace has announced an MoU with IIT Patna, India’s leading science, engineering and technology institute. The MoU is a step to strengthen Flipkart’s academic collaboration which it has been inculcating for past 5 years now. The MoU with IIT Patna will help create industry focused applied research in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML).


As a part of this MoU, IIT Patna will undertake a number of programs such as joint research activities, writing research papers, organizing seminars, internship / mentorship opportunities to name a few. The academic collaboration is expected to bring real world industry exposure to students and scholars of IIT Patna, and to provide an opportunity to the faculty member(s) to work closely with Flipkart on research projects. Flipkart expects to foster an environment of collaboration in the areas of automation, AI, NLP and ML and help build critical national capabilities. 


Said Mayur Datar, Chief Data Scientist Flipkart, “Academic collaborations are a great way to forge long term relationships between industry and academia, to help accelerate the translation of research into new projects and help drive ecosystem benefits which could lead to economic growth. The aim behind this collaboration is to create industry-focused applied research which could help reach ecommerce to more consumers and sellers alike. With this MoU, we aim to establish deeper academia collaborations which could help students and the academia to leverage our data and platform knowledge to work on India specific e-commerce challenges, in addition to publishing research papers.”   


Asif Ekbal, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, said, “We are very pleased to have this MoU with Flipkart, which has churned out many India specific and India first innovations to solve for adoption of ecommerce in India. The research is particularly aimed at developing robust machine translation techniques for translating the large amount of user reviews written in English to the Indian vernacular languages, and at the same time will ensure that the translation process should preserve the domain knowledge (e.g. sentiment, emotion, gender traits etc), which is extremely crucial for the translation service providers (TSPs) that make use of machine translation (MT) in production. Through this initial collaboration, we expect to come up with at least two high-quality publications in the relevant foras, and create a baseline translation workflow in the product review domains. This academic collaboration is expected to bring real world industry exposure to the students and scholars of IIT Patna, and at the same time will provide an opportunity to the faculty member(s) to work closely with Flipkart on research projects.”  

Flipkart is vested in long-term advancement of universities in India through impactful academic research aligned to industry needs. Flipkart works closely with academia through some of the leading institutes including Indian Institute of Science (IISC), IIT (Kharagpur, Bombay and Kanpur), IIM (Ahmedabad and Kolkata)  and a few foreign universities like Carnegie Mellon University and University of California, San Diego to develop technologies such as fashion recommendation, query understanding, attribute extraction, demand planning, product categorization, review helpfulness, supply chain management (e.g., warehouse storage allocation), fraud detection and next basket prediction. It has resulted in several research papers in world-class conferences in areas like information retrieval and knowledge discovery.  


About Flipkart Group

The Flipkart Group is one of India's leading digital commerce entities and includes group companies Flipkart, Myntra, and PhonePe. Started in 2007, Flipkart has enabled millions of consumers, sellers, merchants and small businesses to be a part of India's e-commerce revolution, with a registered customer base of over 250 million, offering over 150 million products across 80+ categories. Our efforts to democratize e-commerce in India, drive access and affordability, delight customers, create lakhs of jobs in the ecosystem and empower generations of entrepreneurs and MSMEs has inspired us to innovate on many industry firsts. The recent launch of Flipkart Wholesale, our new digital marketplace, is a testament to our commitment to accelerate the growth of kiranas and MSMEs in India. Flipkart is known for pioneering services such as Cash on Delivery, No Cost EMI and easy returns –customer-centric innovations that have made online shopping more accessible and affordable for millions of Indians. Together with Myntra, which holds a prominent position in the online fashion market, PhonePe, India's fastest growing digital payments platform, and now Flipkart Wholesale, the Flipkart Group will continue to steer the transformation of commerce in India through technology.


About AI-NLP-ML Research Group, IIT Patna

The Artificial Intelligence-Natural Language Processing-Machine Learning (AI-NLP-ML) Research Group of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Patna has been pursuing extensive research and development in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, and showcasing its presence at both national and international levels by publishing its research in the well-acclaimed journals and conferences,  undertaking important R&D projects duly sponsored by various Government agencies, such as MeITY, SERB, MHRD; and Industries such as Elsevier, Accenture, LG Soft, Samsung Research, Honeywell, Wipro, etc. As per the CS ranking, it ranks 1st in India for Natural Language Processing research in terms of publications during the last 5 years (2015-2020). 


For more information, please write to: media@flipkart.com

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