Illiterates Get A Break – IBM Develops A Voice-Activated Job Search

IBM is deploying a voice-based web technology in India to enable illiterate people find jobs by talking on their mobile phones. The “Smarter Employability Platform” that the company is developing with the Karnataka Vocational Training and Skill Development Corporation (KVTSDC), a government agency, aims to take advantage of the large-scale proliferation of mobile phones among poor and rural users, many of whom are illiterate and speak only local languages.


The Karnataka Vocational Training and Skill Development Corporation (KVTSDC), associated with the state’s Department of Labour, has announced that it has partnered with IBM to develop a Smarter Employability Platform to increase effectiveness of employment and skill-enhancement programmes in the state. Through this first-of-a-kind (FOAK) project with IBM Research – India, KVTSDC will address the challenges of reaching millions of potentially employable individuals and empowering them, especially in rural areas and in the unorganised sector.


As part of this project, IBM will create a platform to effectively connect job-seekers and job-providers along with training and certification agencies in employability marketplaces accessible through mobile phones in local and vernacular languages. Job-seekers will thus be able to find available jobs and apply for the same, while understanding job-trends, and also refer opportunities to their friends: all through mobile phones. Similarly job providers can post jobs, increase their reach, find matching candidates, connect with trainers, and track latest trends through both mobile phones and web channels.

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