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Siri to learn te reo

Sarah Putt, Contributor. 24 October 2019, 6:45 am

The Government will invest $13 million in a multilingual language platform that will enable Apple's AI assistant Siri to speak te reo Māori, it has been announced by Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods.

The investment is in Te Hiku Media for Papa Reo, which is developing natural language processing tools, starting with te reo Māori. The tools will enable applications to be built that will ensure all New Zealanders can use te reo Māori when engaging with their digital devices. New Zealand English and Pacific languages will also be included to further support the growth of a multilingual Aotearoa, a release from Te Hiku Media states.

"Formed in 1991, Te Hiku Media is an organisation committed to the revitalisation of tikanga and te reo Māori. Founded as a not-for-profit, Te Hiku Media serves as a monument to the demonstrated courage and action of the community during the critical Māori rights recognition period. Kaumātua (tribal elders) established Te Hiku Media as an innovative iwi broadcaster to share local topical issues in te reo Māori, gather stories and maintain te reo o te kāinga (language of the home) as a method of communication."

Te Hiku Media is one of four recipients to benefit from investment provided through the Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF).

"The SSIF's purpose is to establish and support longer-term research programmes of mission-led science critical to the future of New Zealand's economy, environment and wellbeing. This is the first SSIF investment in a fund dedicated to data science research," Woods says.

 "To harness the benefits of data science, New Zealand needs to be at the forefront of emerging data science technologies. The new investment will significantly lift New Zealand's capability, provide fresh and ambitious thinking to support international and national collaborations in cutting edge data science research."

The other three programmes involve working on the data-science driven evolution of aquaculture for building the blue economy, developing new methods to deal with environmental datasets that are collected in large volumes over time, and developing new methods that discover, gather and integrate useful data with minimal human intervention. 

You can learn more about these projects here.

 


Comments

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Tim Gallagher 24 October 2019, 1:48 pm

Come on NZ Govt far better things like more teachers,police, and an apalling health system that this money would be better spent on....Shame on you NZ Govt


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