Meta on Wednesday said it has built an artificial intelligence system to translate Hokkien into English even though Taiwanese lacks a standard script.
The Silicon Valley tech giant owns Facebook and Instagram noted work at the Universal Speech Translator project which is an effort to allow users from all over the world to socialize regardless of what language they speak.
When Facebook changed its name to Meta a year ago, co-founder and director Mark Zuckerberg said the company is focusing on the transition to online life taking place in virtual domains, a concept known as reverse.
Meta said in one blog post.
The fledgling Hokkien translation system is rated as the first by Meta artificial intelligence-powered “speech-to-speech translation system developed for an unwritten language.”
According to Meta, the translation technology the tech company says will be shared for others to use, allowing someone who speaks Hokkien to converse with an English speaker, but with only one full sentence. enough at a time.
“It is a step towards a future where simultaneous translation between languages is possible,” says Meta.
“The techniques we pioneered with Hokkien can be extended to many other unspoken languages and will eventually work in real time.”
Hokkien is widely spoken among the overseas Chinese community. It is spoken by 16 million people across Asia and spoken by three-quarters of the population of Taiwan, according to the French National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations.
However, the language lacks a standard form of text, making it challenging to train AI models to interpret what is said, according to Meta.
More than 40% of the world’s existing 7,000 languages are mainly spoken, without a standard or widely known text pattern, the technology company said.
Meta says: “In the future, all languages, whether written or not, may no longer be an obstacle to mutual understanding.