Finnish language AI resource development is progressing

Vake started a Finnish language artificial intelligence development programme in May 2019. The programme’s aim is to enable the use of the Finnish language alongside main languages used by AI developers, as voice is becoming an increasingly significant user interface for various services and applications.

The work began with a pre-study carried out in cooperation with companies interested in the subject, Vake, University of Helsinki centre for digital humanities, FIN-CLARIN consortium, Aalto University, Business Finland, and the Technology Industries of Finland. The pre-study report summarises what type of language resources are required to develop new service innovations and considers how these should be organised.

The expertise created in this project can be offered internationally to all parties advocating the interests of small language groups,” remarks Pia Erkinheimo, Director of Vake’s Power of Data Programme.

On Tuesday October 29th, nearly 70 representatives from both public and private organisations gathered to hear about the pre-study’s results and discuss further steps. The clear message conveyed at this event was that there is a great need for accelerating and enhancing the development of Finnish language AI as well as services based on it.

Next, Vake will tackle the challenge of developing language resources through three operations:

First, Vake will determine what kind of actor is required to advance the collection, development and distribution of language resources and what form the actor’s operating model should take.

Second, Vake will address legal issues raised concerning, for example, the best means for taking into account data privacy and immaterial rights while collecting and utilising language resources.

The third step in preparation is a campaign to collect language material for the use of AI developers, in cooperation with Finnish Broadcasting Company, Yle. The aim is to accumulate a diverse collection of natural speech from people all around Finland.

The pre-study report (in Finnish) can be accessed here.

Further information:

Vake Oy, Project Manager Terhi Marttila, tel.+358 (0) 40 681 5868