IIT Kharagpur researchers make Sanskrit accessible with Artificial Intelligence

IIT Kharagpur has announced that its researchers have developed a digital infrastructure for the efficient processing of Sanskrit texts, by effectively combining machine learning techniques and traditional linguistic knowledge from Sanskrit.

This solution has been developed as there has been a renewed interest in Sanskrit since the announcement of NEP 2020, said a statement from the institute. Various academic institutions both at school education as well as higher education are adopting various approaches for improving the reach of the language through training programs, research and outreach initiatives. While various digital resources have improved the accessibility and use of world languages and even regional languages, Sanskrit presents unique challenges in automated computational processing. The team is now actively collaborating with several external research groups to extend the application of the proposed system for automatic speech recognition and question-answering in Sanskrit.

In addition to the sheer volume and diversity, both stylistic and chronological, found in these texts, the linguistic peculiarities expressed by the language, pose several challenges in making these works accessible to the world. The proposed AI-based system, used in conjunction with interactive tools such as the Sanskrit Heritage reader, can aid the users in the easier analysis of these manuscripts with word-by-word analysis and translation, the relation between words, poetry to prose conversion, search and question answering.