Flipkart on Tuesday announced a collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Patna over research in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP).
IIT Patna and Flipkart have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will help in creating industry-focused applied research in the field of AI, NLP and ML. Flipkart says that as a part of this MoU, IIT Patna will undertake a number of programs such as joint research activities, writing research papers, organising seminars, internship and mentorship opportunities to name a few.
The academic collaboration is expected to bring real-world industry exposure to students and scholars of IIT Patna. It will also provide an opportunity to the faculty members to work closely with Flipkart on research projects. With this collaboration, the Indian e-retail company expects to foster an environment of collaboration in the areas of automation, AI, NLP and ML and help build critical national capabilities.
Notably, this is not the first time that Walmart-owned Flipkart has collaborated with universities in India over academic research. The e-retailer works with premier institutes in India such as Indian Institute of Science (IISC), IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Kanpur, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Kolkata and a few foreign universities like Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California and San Diego to develop technologies such as fashion recommendation, query understanding, attribute extraction, demand planning, product categorization, review helpfulness, supply chain management, fraud detection and next basket prediction. This, the company says has resulted in several research papers in world-class conferences in areas like information retrieval and knowledge discovery.
“The aim behind this collaboration is to create industry-focused applied research which could help reach e-commerce 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,” Mayur Datar, Chief Data Scientist Flipkart said on the occasion.