Google made many new announcements at its fourth ‘Google for India' event. Alongside the new features for Google Maps and Google Pay, the company has also revealed some new features for the Google Assistant, along with changes for its other services to put emphasis on local, Indian content. New changes are being made to Google Now, the Feed and the Google Assistant. Google Assistant will soon be updated with support for Marathi language and the company says that seven more Indian languages will soon be added to it. The assistant is also being updated with Action like 'Where Is My Train, Airtel, and Hello English.' Using these actions, users will get access to information like lessons in Hindi to learn English through the Google Assistant, Airtel customers will be able to ask Google Assistant when their current plan expires or how much data balance is left and more.
To give a push to the reach of Indian content, the company is also working with working with more than 100,000 offline Indian language publishers on Project Navlekha. As per Google, it enables local publishers to easily start their website and publish on a branded domain with ease. Project Navlekha is the first step in a three-step process to expand the reach of local content publishers in India. It uses AI to scan any PDF with Indian language into editable text so that it's easier to create mobile-friendly web content. Google demoed the feature and it was actually quite accurate in scanning and rending an article that was written in Hindi and it also allows text formatting and copying the images directly from the PDF. As a part of the project, Indian language publishers get to avail free web hosting with AdSense support to monetize their content and they will also receive training and support, and a branded page domain for the first three years. Navlekha project has already commenced onboarding publishers in Delhi and those who are in other regions can join from September. Those interested can join the program here.
As a second step, Google Go users can now surf any web-page in languages other than English like Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, and Tamil. They can also listen to the content on web pages with each word being highlighted as it’s read. Finally, the news stories served to a user in the Search Feed will now be sourced from both English and Hindi publishers. The stories are said to be selected using an AI algorithm, which learns from the user’s browsing habits. Searching for definitions on Google currently return results in English, but it will also be available in Marathi and Tamil in the coming weeks. Google will also now help users with their pronunciations and they will be able to learn where improvement is required to get a word correctly pronounced. Shashidhar Thakur, VP, Engineering, Google Search, said, “For Search to be truly helpful, it should bring you useful content, in all the languages you understand.” Google then announced