Gulf | Qatar

Move to improve Arabic speech recognition

Hearing-impaired among people to benefit from breakthrough

  • By Habib Toumi Bureau Chief
  • Published: 16:08 August 1, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: An automatic Arabic language transcription system could be soon made available thanks to joint work by Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) and EML European Media Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.

The efforts to advance very large vocabulary speech recognition technology and systems for Arabic are expected to result in wide-ranging applications with video and audio content, from broadcast news programmes to lectures and meetings, becoming searchable, enabling knowledge sharing. People who are hearing impaired will benefit from the breakthrough amid hopes that it will allow alternative communication of messages in noisy environments such as airports, or quiet areas such as libraries.

The goal of QCRI’s Arabic language technologies team is to develop technology, which helps to break down language barriers to improve access to information and the ability to communicate, the institute said. The team is undertaking major research efforts to improve machine translation and speech recognition for the Arabic language and its dialects through building language models for different domains, or uses, such as meetings, broadcast news or lectures.

“Our collaboration with EML is an ideal union of expertise in language technology research,” Ahmad Elmagarmid, Executive Director of QCRI, said. “The result of our cooperation opens up numerous possibilities for the future of communication enabling and information sharing. We look forward to further strengthening our relationship with EML,” he said in remarks emailed to Gulf News.

EML’s research and development expertise lies with speech processing technologies. It builds automatic speech transcription systems for speech messaging, speech analytics, and media transcription solutions.

EML has developed the EML Transcription Platform, a scalable speech recognition platform that is language independent.

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