Companies can now develop chat boxes which will speak to clients in Maltese following research carried out by the University of Malta and funded by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.
“When companies launch chat boxes, they have ready-made research into languages such as English, Italian and French that they can plug and play into their applications,” Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said.
“However, seeing as only the Maltese people speak Maltese and Malta is a small country, it didn’t make business sense for companies to carry out research into Maltese themselves. Therefore, the University of Malta and the government carried out this research for them.”
Besides speech processing, the UoM also carried out research into Maltese text processing, which will allow Maltese to be integrated as a language that can be used for subtitles.
A third research project, Edu AI, is exploring how artificial intelligence can assist in children’s education from a young age.
These projects, which cost the MDIA around €161,000, form part of the national AI strategy which Malta launched in 2019 with the aim of becoming a global leader in this field.
“Our goal in AI is not only to attract foreign investment and create jobs in the sector, but also to ensure that the benefits brought by this wave of innovation reach more segments of Maltese society,” Schembri said.
“It is to this end that the Malta Digital Innovation Authority has allocated these funds, in order to offer the necessary support to achieve the government’s goal of transforming our country into the best jurisdiction from which to promote ideas related to AI.”
Would you like to see Maltese chat boxes rolled out in the near future?