Aiaioo Labs is a small research SME based in Bangalore.
The name Aiaioo is an interjection popular in South India and reserved for occasions that are particularly painful and embarrassing.
For instance, if someone were to drop a paper weight on their toe …
you’d hear …
I am told that people in China say ‘aie’ and ‘aio’.
At Aiaioo Labs we develop products for Natural Language Processing. We’ve developed tools for programming using human languages.
We also work on transliteration, and on semantics and customer sentiment.
Do write in if you want to find out more about our ongoing projects.
Welcome to Aiaioo Labs, a research SME based in Bangalore that aspires to be the SRI of the East.
How did Aiaioo Labs come about?
The first time I saw a computer was in 1988 or 89.
One day, I accompanied my dad to the university, and was allowed to peep into a room that housed a computing machine. I remember being crushingly disappointed to be told that the cupboard-like-thing was all there was to see.
My question before I entered the room: Should I shake its hand when I meet it?
My question as I was leaving: Is the computer somewhere inside that box? Did it see me?
Towards the end of 1999 I found a very inspiring book “Artificial Intelligence” that described very vividly the work of Searle, Minsky and Wilensky.
I enrolled for a master’s and decided to study Natural Language Processing.
In the second half of the year 2002, after completing my master’s and before joining IBM, I was standing on the campus of UC Berkeley, at the Evans building that Wilensky had worked in, and I found myself wishing that we had something like that building (ugly grey building though it is) in Bangalore.
The next day, I visited Stanford and felt again as if I wanted to carry away Stanford’s Hewlett-Packard building to Bangalore.
That’s when the idea of setting up a little independent research lab in Bangalore took root in my mind. It would be a place were cool guys and girls worked on cool projects and did things that would change the world, and make it a better place.
When I returned to India in 2008, the first thing I learnt was that setting up a lab was not going to be easy at all.
There were no government funds available for research SMEs.
There were no DARPA funds, and no EU grants.
In the beginning I was very worried, but in the end, it probably turned out to be a good thing. We were forced to think hard about practical applications and to build products that businesses would actually want.
Thanks for dropping in and being part of our journey today. Check out our tools for programming using human languages. And please visit again.