Google has a new version save languages that are about to expire: give the cultures the AI tools they need to protect their languages. The company has established Woolaroo, an open source web browser (also available on Google Arts & Culture for Android and iOS apps) which uses machine learning and image recognition to protect languages on the edge. As a user, you need to point your phone’s camera at an object so that the AI can detect it and express it in the given language, and pronunciation.
Woolaroo’s true power comes from its open nature, however. Communities can use this platform to amplify the word in their own way. If you remember the unspoken words, you can add (and pronunciation) a few problems. This can be especially important for languages that do not have specific words to describe modern ideas such as phones or computers. You can edit or delete notes if they are incorrect, too.
The program initially provides an overview of 10 languages worldwide, including Maori, Yiddish and Yugambeh indigenous Australians. We are not surprised if this is growing rapidly, however. UNESCO has it for sure that “at least” 2,572 of the approximately 6,000 languages in the world are facing certain dangers. While Woolaroo cannot guarantee that languages will still be used, it can make them and their history disappear.
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