Malta’s unique language has officially got its own speech recognition software with the launch of bilmalti.com
While it’s still in a rudimentary form, its creator, engineer Edward Apap, hopes its widespread use will help develop it via machine learning.
It is the first software to recognise Maltese, with popular speech-to-text software offered by giants like Google and Microsoft excluding it from the hundreds of languages and dialects offered on their platforms.
“Hopefully, as more people start using bilmalti.com, accuracy reaches a threshold where the software becomes useful for general purpose applications,” Apap told the Times of Malta.
Academics at the University of Malta are also working on a speech-recognition platform in Maltese called Masri, which could benefit bilmalti.com by providing more data to learn from.
According to them, the system is able to transcribe news pieces well, but less so when it comes to spontaneous speech or casual conversation. The more people use the software, the better it will get at recognising different modes of speech.
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