FCAI brings its expertise to the development project of Finnish language resources

FCAI partner Vake Oy – a state-owned investment and development company in Finland –  launches its development program for Finnish artificial intelligence in May 2019. The first project aims to create Finnish language resources (application libraries, language models, and training materials) needed by developers of artificial intelligence devices and software requiring man-machine interaction in Finnish. The final goal is to develop components enabling the use of Finnish in artificial intelligence alongside the major languages of the world. The work begins with a preliminary study conducted by Vake Oy, the Department of Digital Humanities at the University of Helsinki, the FIN-CLARIN consortium, the Aalto University, Business Finland, and the Technology Industries of Finland to establish development priorities. FCAI contributes by bringing strong research expertise on new machine learning methods for language technologies.

Sound is a significant future interface. More than half of Google searches are estimated to be voice-controlled in 2020. The market research agency Canalys has estimated that there will be nearly 100 million smart speakers in households this year. International giants like Amazon, Apple and Google are selling millions of smart speakers a year, and the Russian Yandex and the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba have developed smart speakers for their own language areas.

“In the market for voice-controlled devices and applications, developers naturally focus on the major languages to maximize the market potential of services. The ambitions of the current Finnish players are not limited to product development for our own small linguistic area, but companies need initial testing and references from the domestic market to succeed. Consumers will be excluded from these fast-growing services, unless we invest in Finnish resources,” says Development Director Tuomas Teuri from Vake.

Reference (only in Finnish): https://vake.fi/fitiedotteet/#150519