Meeting with Mycroft

This week LVL sat down with Mycroft to discuss the possibilities of collaborating and working together to bring more speech technology to Iceland.  We discussed using Mozilla’s Common Voice to bring about another open source Icelandic speech dataset, and possibly an Icelandic voice assistant. The Mozilla project requires just 5,000 phrases which anyone can contribute, even you!

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LVL meets with Joshua Montgomerey of Mycroft

Panelist at “The Future of the Icelandic Language”

This Thursday, Anna will be representing the LVL group at The Future of the Icelandic Language in New York. It is being hosted as part of the “100 ára fullveldi Íslands” (trans. 100 years of of sovereignty in Iceland) celebration. Anna will be a panelist during the “The Icelandic Language and Technology” discussion along with international leading figures in the language and technology community.

Photo from the event:

NewYork

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First conference of the year is LREC!

This year, Jón will be representing our LVL group at the LREC 2018 conference happening this week in gorgeous Miyazaki, Japan. Jón will be presenting the paper,  “Open ASR for Icelandic: Resources and a Baseline System.” As co-author, Anna, says, “The paper describes the language resources used in the project Open ASR for Icelandic: the Málrómur speech corpus, the Leipzig Corpora Collection and the Icelandic pronunciation dictionary, and their processing for the utilization in the training of the ASR system. Furthermore, we experiment with different content of the acoustic training corpus to examine the impact of carefully selected speech data on the WER of the ASR system.” To learn more, read their paper and visit ASR_Resources_LREC2018_A0_portrait_final to get the details that they weren’t able to fit in.

We wish Jón a good conference and lots of fun on a different island!

For those who weren’t able to view the poster in person, we have a PDF of it below:

LRECpaper

Open Icelandic ASR unveiled at the Language Technology Seminar

On the 27th of April, we will be presenting the web portal for our project, a Free and Open Speech Recognition for Icelandic. The ASR will be the opening topic of the Language Technology Seminar, followed by other language technology talks and presentations. The seminar takes place at Reykjavík University, room M101 on Friday, April 27th, 2018 12:00PM.

More detailed information can be found at the following link: Announcing the New Open ASR for Icelandic and the Facebook event.

The automatic speech recognizer was previously demoed at UTMessan and University Day but after the seminar it will be publicly available at https://tal.ru.is/ for newer devices. To get a better idea of how our Open Icelandic ASR works, watch the following Icelandic news segment:

But if you don’t know any Icelandic and just want to use the API, then follow us for updates.

Welcome Hrafn!

LVL grows even larger with Associate Processor, Hrafn Loftsson, joining our lab. His past work includes IceNLP. and the Almannaromur Icelandic speech corpus. Natural Language Processing is his primary focus.

 

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Without further ado LVL would like to welcome Hrafn, and we hope that he’ll lend his expertise to the rest of the LVL projects. If you would like to read more about him, you can check out his bio or his Reykjavik University page.

 

On an unrelated note: We also have added another project to our projects page, TTS for Icelandic.

Featured in BBC 4 Tech: Cognitive Workload Research

Last fall Michal was interviewed by a broadcast journalist for the BBC Arabic segment, BBC 4 Tech. The interview was regarding some early research he did with the Cognitive workload monitoring using voice project. The BBC 4 Tech segments have been uploaded onto YouTube with voice-overs in Arabic.

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Above is Michal explaining his part in the research to the interviewer, Anees.

Thanks to the BBC team you’ll get the distinct pleasure of seeing one of our own speaking Arabic, albeit dubbed, if you select play:

 

Radio Host Interviews Jón Guðnason about Robotics and AI

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Recently, Jón was interviewed on the Icelandic afternoon radio show,  Síðdegisútvarpið. On the program, he conversed about the progress in robotics and artificial intelligence. The focus of the conversation was on a new video from Boston Dynamics and how their robots can get about by opening doors and how the latest development in AI is allowing robots to sense their world and behave in more natural ways.

The interview was conducted at the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV).