AI and the Welsh language

Welsh government shares update on Welsh Language Technology Action Place from 2018, committing to readiness for developments in AI. 

Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, has provided a useful update on the Welsh government’s efforts to ensure the language has a prominent place in the tech we use every day and for developments in AI. 

Senedd - Home to the National Assembly for Wales (Cardiff)

Photo by Ismail Mia

Since the Welsh Language Technology Action Plan was published in 2018, the government has created and commissioned resources and data to improve tech in the Welsh language. It also supported the development of voice technology in Welsh and the development of AI incorporating Welsh. 

The specific achievements include developing tech to convert spoken Welsh into typed text, creating synthetic voices for Welsh-speaking people who lose the ability to speak, and developing specialist machine translation.  

The government has also worked with OpenAI – the company behind ChatGPT – to improve how GPT-4, its most powerful chatbot, processes the Welsh language. A partnership with Microsoft has resulted in a facility for simultaneous interpretation within Microsoft Teams meetings, provided at no additional cost to existing Teams users. It’s hoped that this work with the Welsh government will lead to similar and new resources for languages spoken around the world. 

Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, says: ‘We want to ensure that anyone can use the Welsh language in technology in more and more situations, without having to ask or go out of their way to do so. The three themes of the plan back in 2018 were Welsh language speech technology, computer-assisted translation, and conversational artificial intelligence. We have taken the task seriously, and ground-breaking work has been done to ensure that the Welsh language is at the heart of digital developments. 

‘We have come a long way. But of course, technology is evolving. As this happens, we will continue to ensure that Welsh language technology resources are also evolving.’ 

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