The release of ChatGPT, an advanced artificial intelligence chatbot that mimics human language, prompted an explosion in excitement and hot takes: from AI bros hyping the latest developments in far-too-long Twitter threads to techno-optimists touting it as the silver bullet that will solve all of humanity’s problems to AI ethicists sounding the alarm and calling for governments to take action.
Whether it’s the salvation or destruction of mankind, AI has captured the imagination of developers everywhere, and nowhere more so than India’s tech capital, Bengaluru. The immense interest is understandable: India has witnessed the fastest growth in the global community of developers, with more than 10 million expected to join GitHub by the end of 2023. On April 1, techies in Bengaluru organized a three-day “hackathon” where over 150 participants from across India wrangled together apps that leveraged generative AI. Lawyers, coders, and artists participated, developing several interesting prototypes in under 24 hours.
Rest of World was at India’s first generative AI hackathon to look at how this once-in-a-generation technology was received in the country’s biggest tech hub. Here are five notable projects from the event.
Youtalk: Talk to YouTube videos (and get answers from them)
This Google Chrome plug-in lets you ask questions to YouTube videos. No, not to a YouTube creator, but to the video itself. You type a question, and the AI will spit out an answer in text, based on information in the video. It will also give you a link to the exact spot in the video that answers your question.
According to the creators, this feature is especially useful for those who listen to hours-long podcasts with dense information packed into the audio. The answer is synthesized using large language models. “By creating something like this for podcasters, it becomes an additional revenue source for them because it enables discoverability,” said engineer and product manager Anudeep Yegireddi, one of the three creators of Youtalk. The team talked about making it a paid feature during their presentation. Here is the GitHub code for Youtalk.
Multimode: Turn text into 2D pixel animation
Built using the popular text-to-image model Stable Diffusion, Multimode helps users create pixel-art animations using text.
This tool promises to instantly generate art in the blocky, 2D style often seen in video games, no matter how wild the prompt: Witness Spiderman and Harry Potter dancing. The project, presented by Bengaluru-based product engineer Rajeev Singh Naruka, won in the “best tooling for media” category.
SensAI: A chatbot that helps you learn to code
A team led by computer science graduate Gayathri Meka developed SensAI, a product that helps underprivileged people learn coding with AI.
A conversational interface offers a study plan and road map based on what the user wants to learn, with contextual feedback. The chatbot presents the user with snippets of code and asks them to explain it. It engages and questions users by dynamically generating questions. The demo was still rough around the edges, and had been jerry-rigged in a couple of days. The team won in the “AI for social change” category.
OSH: A coding assistant for developers
For programmers, nothing is more important than “flow”: being in that state where ideas are pouring out and code is flowing out, and you’re writing line after line without breaking a sweat. Until — oops — an error creeps in, and you have to stop and fix it.
OSH is a plug-in that promises to correct code and review errors quickly and easily, without breaking a coder’s flow. It provides AI-based assistance for developers and improves productivity by finding errors and debugging them. “Once installed and run, it takes in the previously run command and its corresponding errors and gives you a helping hand,” OSH creators Harshal Bhatia and Manu Hedge noted in their pitch deck.
Tale of Datta: AI-generated comic
This whole comic was created in 24 hours using popular AI tools. Creator Rasagy Sharma outlined the script with ChatGPT’s assistance, and created samples of AI-generated comics with tools such as Lexica, Stable Diffusion, Vectorizer.AI, Adobe Enhance and Beatoven.ai.
The comic tells a fictional story of a man who challenges the gods, blending themes from Hindu mythology, current innovations in technology, and some puns. It won in the “data and storytelling” category.