Meta has launched a new No Language Left Behind AI model. It can translate 200 different languages. And the data will be open-sourced for native speakers to help improve its systems and provide more technological access.
“Language is our lifeline to the world. But because high-quality translation tools don’t exist for hundreds of languages, billions of people today can’t access digital content or participate fully in conversations and communities online in their preferred or native languages. This is particularly an issue for hundreds of millions of people who speak the many languages of Africa and Asia,” explains Meta.
Meta is building systems that learn language translations from smaller datasets. It also is working with native speakers to refine its systems further.
“We’ve built a single AI model called NLLB-200, which translates 200 different languages with results far more accurate than what previous technology could accomplish. When comparing the quality of translations to previous AI research, NLLB-200 scored an average of 44% higher. For some African and Indian-based languages, NLLB-200’s translations were more than 70% more accurate,” adds Meta.
It will expand access to more regions and will ensure that minor languages can survive into the future.
Still, Meta’s systems alone could not offer full detection and translation of all languages. Open-sourcing its data to more native speakers and experts will help with the development.
“We’re also awarding up to $200,000 of grants for impactful uses of NLLB-200 to researchers and nonprofit organizations with initiatives focused on sustainability, food security, gender-based violence, education or other areas in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nonprofits interested in using NLLB-200 to translate two or more African languages, as well as researchers working in linguistics, machine translation and language technology, are invited to apply,” says Meta.
Apart from these initiatives, Meta will evolve its translation tools. It will allow users in the metaverse to more easily converse and engage in real-time.
Read more about Meta’s evolving translation process here.