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17-year old student creates AI-based virtual personal assistant

Sudhir Chowdhary

While there are hundreds of die-hard Marvel fans, there is none like Aarushi Nema. At a time when every other teenager appreciates the wonders of Marvel's cinematic universe, this 17-year-old student of DPS RK Puram, New Delhi, took inspiration from Marvel's Jarvis and developed a conversational intelligent robot called 'Aaru'. Nema has created Aaru as a one-stop solution to integrate any application to various interfaces and mode of communications. It is designed to be used as a personal assistant by individuals or a voice-based general interface by companies.

"Being a huge fan of Marvel Comics and especially Iron Man, the quest for Aaru began with me wanting to build 'just a rather very intelligent system' like Jarvis. As a self-confessed tech lover, I believe anyone should be able to talk to various knowledge bases and database," says Nema, who is also the CEO and founder of a technology startup called The Smart Interface. "I am also the vice-president of the Entrepreneuralship Club of my school and I am currently pursuing Science stream with Physics and Maths as my main subjects."
Talking about her tech breakthrough, Nema says: "The foundation of my company was laid on the grounds of innovation and AI-based technology. I aim for the company to be a one-stop solution platform for pioneering communication technologies and hope to bring the same at an affordable cost to everyone. This curiosity and enthusiasm for AI gave birth to Aaru."

Aaru didn't happen overnight, she reveals. "It took me nearly eight months to teach myself coding, JAVA, AI, Machine Learning, Python, Chat Bots and numerous other Assistants. My father was my motivational force throughout. What came at the end was the first ever prototype for Aaru."

AI-based personal assistant Aaru can help students, schools, call centres and a variety of other sectors to delegate routine and administer simple tasks, thereby increasing efficiency. Nema says that Aaru is a software that can exist in the cloud or can be infused within an actual robot. It is customisable and is different for different users depending on preference. So it can either be used by a parent to inquire about her child's fee, bus location, time table in school, or used at home to know about your electricity bill or even used by a BPO to help customers.

"She can be used at the front desk to cater to the needs of people regarding their personal profile/account and general queries related to the organisation. She is an easily accessible single interface for multiple applications," she says.

Aaru can speak multiple languages and solve customer queries 24×7. So, while a person sitting on the front desk of a company can handle only one query at a time, Aaru can handle millions of queries simultaneously. Aaru also ensures data privacy and provides a system where only you can access your information. "What's interesting is that one doesn't have to worry about creating a user interface such as a website or app to speak with Aaru, one can easiliy do that through commonly used AI interfaces such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana, and many more," says Nema.

On her future plans, the young entrepreneur says, "I plan to take the startup ahead alongside my education in the future. With immense interest in studying robotics, I strive to build actual task specific robots in the future."