Azfar consulted with the Google Assistant team in New York to produce original Urdu content for 600 million Urdu speakers across India, Pakistan and the global diaspora.
“For … new users which are coming to this technology for the first time, voice is really the easiest and most natural way for them to use their phones. It’s removing a technology barrier for these users.”
Working with the Google Assistant South Asian team, Azfar produced content which enabled the Assistant to speaks eight new Indic languages: Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam and Urdu.
We are at the cusp of something big here! With over 22 official languages, India’s billion users can use other Indic languages besides English and Hindi. It is already the second largest smartphone market in the world after China. Last year it surpassed 400 million smartphone users, and is estimated to be north of 700 million by 2022!
As Android Go and KaiOS phones with the Assistant built-in become more popular in India, there is a seismic increase in the number of active users coming online for the first time. It is empowering these communities overcome technological barriers as they discover voice as an organic way to interact with their devices. With Google Assistant, the next billion users are rapidly adopting cutting-edge technology — voice making this easier for people who did not have access to a computer growing up. For many of these users, a smartphone is a computer — a one-stop device to access information, entertainment and educational resources.