US chip firm Nvidia and telecom-to-retail giant Reliance on Friday announced an AI partnership to create language models, generative apps and a cloud infrastructure platform for AI development in the South Asian nation.
Nvidia will provide the computing power required for the efforts, while Reliance unit Jio will manage and maintain the AI infrastructure and oversee customer engagement, the companies said.
"Reliance will create AI applications and services for their 450 million Jio (telecom) customers and provide energy-efficient AI infrastructure to scientists, developers and startups across India," Nvidia said.
Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire chairman of Reliance, has previously talked up the need of "digital infrastructure in India that can handle AI's immense computational demands".
Nvidia globally has a near-monopoly on the computing systems used to power services like ChatGPT, OpenAI's blockbuster generative AI chatbot. The AI powering such apps is known as a large language model because it takes in a text prompt and from that writes a human-like response.
The partnership will give Reliance access to the latest version of Nvidia's Grace Hopper Superchip, its AI chips that are optimized to perform AI inference functions that effectively power apps like ChatGPT.
Reliance said the new AI infrastructure will speed up a range of India's key AI projects, including chatbots, drug discovery, and climate research.
Neil Shah, a partner at Counterpoint Research, said the AI move is critical for Jio to "make sense" of the data it has from millions of users, and become a tech company providing services beyond telecom.
"The AI infra will enable it to provide accurate recommendations and cross sell products and services across its giant network of clients in retail, telecom, and financial space," he said.
Reuters on Friday exclusively reported that oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance is also considering a foray into chip manufacturing in India.
Separately, India's Tata Group too is set to announce an AI partnership with Nvidia later during Friday, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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