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!
The complexity of neural network models increases every year and it takes a lot to keep up with computational hardware fast enough to train them efficiently. Earlier this year, we applied to the RANNIS Infrastructure Fund for funding to expand our current HPC cluster. We are happy that our proposal “Deep Learning Infrastructure for Speech and Language Technology” was selected to be funded. Only three grants were granted to Reykjavik University, and ours was one of them. This money will allow us to buy a fully equipped SuperMicro 4028GR-TR2 server with NVIDIA 1080Ti GPUs. We hope to sign the grant contract within several weeks and then order the machine. Next comes the process of assembling and integrating it into our current cluster. I can say that several group members can’t wait to have more power available to them.
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.
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.
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).
We are delighted to be participating in the project “Icelandic Youth Language: An Empirical Study of Communicative Resources” headed by dr. Helga Hilmisdóttir at The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. Using Eyra, Teenage group conversations will be recorded and annotated during the project and used to study linguistic features such as communication patterns, vocabulary, imagery, inflection, sentence order and voice. The data will also be used to improve language technology for teenage voices.
On Friday, LVL will be at the UTMessan conference being held here in Reykjavik. UTMessan is a IT conference presented in both Icelandic and English. The talk, “Skilur framtíðin íslensku? (Does the future understand Icelandic?)” will be presented by Anna Björk. This will be our first time presenting at UTMessan so we are very excited.
If you are interested in attending, below are the talk details:
Abstract: In recent years language technology and artificial intelligence have made a giant leap forward. The revolution becomes clear in the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana, that in ever more households are becoming a part of the family. In the discussion about language technology for Icelandic, the most prominent subject has been how and when we are going to speak Icelandic with those assistants.
But what about language technology for the purpose of increasing efficiency and service quality of companies and institutions? This talk discusses language technology in this context and what is needed so that Icelandic companies can join the rapid development in the field.
Watch the talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaOYG23R7_k
Date: 2 February, 2018
Location: Tækjatal – Chatbot Talks, Silfurberg B, Harpa, Reykjavík, Iceland
Language: Icelandic (perfect opportunity to brush up on your Icelandic)
Time: 11:55am – 12:25pm
More details at UTMessan
We hope to see you there!
As part of our yearly tradition we presented our research at the Haskólinn í Reykjavík AI Festival.
Some time later in the evening, the national television service, RUV also did a TV spot on this gathering of AI minds. To learn more about the event you can go to the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/396703547427867/