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Telkom has partnered with South African startup Enlabeler to launch an AI platform that translates speech into text and provides transcription services for local languages.
The platform, called izwe.ai, was unveiled at the AI Expo Africa 2021. It is described as “a multi-lingual technology platform that transforms your audio and video data to text, captions or subtitles in your local languages”.
Telkom and Enlabeler collaborated to create the platform, with the aim of providing a way to bridge the language gap in a variety of industries.
“With Enlabeler, we have built a solution that can offer a seamless transcription experience with highly localised and reliable outputs, which help us deliver as a strategic partner for our clients,” Telkom Executive of Data Science Stefan Steffen said in a statement.
“Working with an agile startup like Enlabeler has helped us accelerate our long-term plans to unlock this market segment. ”
Enlabeler is a data labelling and annotation solutions provider.
Founded in 2019, the company describes itself as Africa’s first remote data labelling community. It employs people around the country to augment and train the AI solutions and services provided by the company.
The company provides video and image annotation services, computer vision and object detection models, entity extraction from text datasets, as well as translation and transcription services.
The izwe.ai translation platform
According to Telkom, the izwe.ai platform has a unique ability to interpret South African accents. It also uses machine learning to constantly improve its translations.
The aim of the platform is to provide transcription and translation across a range of industries. These include education, academia, legal services, and media production.
“This technology can be a game-changer in business, as well as education, government, and healthcare delivery,” Telkom head of Innovation Dr Mmaki Jantjies said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Telkom Foundation CEO Sarah Mthintso highlighted the education benefits of the service.
“STEM subjects are the foundation for the careers of the future, but to truly drive digital transformation in South Africa, we need learners to be able to learn in their home language,” Mthintso said in a statement.
“That’s where AI-driven speech services are so important.”
Translation and transcription service launch
The service will be launched in a phased approach. The first phase includes the launch of izwe.ai and the collection of information from potential clients via survey.
The service is offering five hours of free machine transcription in exchange for the completion of the survey.
The second phase will include the release of the machine transcription model.
“In release 2 you will have access to a market-leading machine transcription model to transcribe your files with a click of a button,” the service says on its website.
The third phase will include the implementation of human input into automatic transcription outputs. Finally, phase four will include the launch of additional services.
You can find out more about the platform on the izwe.ai website.
Feature image: Ventureburn