This episode is brought to you by the Cloud Wars Expo. This in-person event will be held June 28th to 30th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
01:05 — In this digital-first world, a lot of technology is currently built using a small number of languages—which represents a modern issue.
01:30 — In the 1860s, the British laid claim to New Zealand—at the time, the native language was Te reo. In 1867, the Native Schools Act forced the Māori children to be taught the British English language. This wasn’t reversed until 1987, in an effort to preserve the Te reo language.
02:08 — Peter-Lucas Jones and Keoni Mahelona were inspired to form a non-profit Māori radio station, Te Hiku Media. They acquired advanced computers to train their own algorithms for natural language processing.
02:40 — Jones and Mahelona suggest that global AI development is impoverishing communities and countries that don’t have a say in its development, particularly due to the small number of languages used for these technologies.
03:13 — By using AI technology, Jones and Mahelona are working to revive and preserve the Te reo language. In addition to the tools and mechanisms they have created to overcome resource limitations, they are planning on bringing more data scientists in.
03:55 — This project has caught the attention of others, such as Margaret Mitchell, former co-lead of Google’s Ethical AI team.
04:21 — This effort to use AI and infuse native languages into the advancements of technology, then helping preserve dying languages, also helps with the preservation of our humanity.
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