November 22

This Company Is Building AI for African Languages

Inside a co-working space in the Rosebank neighborhood of Johannesburg, Jade Abbott popped open a tab on her computer and prompted ChatGPT to count from 1 to 10 in isiZulu, a language spoken by more than 10 million people in her native South Africa. The results were “mixed and hilarious,” says Abbott, a computer scientist and researcher.

Then she typed in a few sentences in isiZulu and asked the chatbot to translate them into English. Once again, the answers? Not even close. Although there have been efforts to include certain languages in AI models even when there is not much data available for training, to Abbott, these results show that the technology “really still isn’t capturing our languages.”

Source: MIT Technology Review (link opens in a new window)

artificial intelligence