Bangladesh to launch 40 AI online services, tools by 2021

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Published on November 3, 2020
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Information and Communication Technology State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak said that 40 Artificial Intelligence (AI) services and tools related to language and technology are being developed under the ICT department, and will be available online by 2021.

“Also, services like 'text to speech', spelling and grammar correction and OCR will be added to convert e-documents into D-documents. These services related to language and technology will change the country’s information technology infrastructure,” he said in a view exchange meet on a digital platform, said a press release.

The state minister was exchanging views with respective officials on the progress of various projects under BCC of the ICT department, including Bangla language enrichment project in information technology through research and development in the view exchange.

Mentioning that ‘Bangla Board’ is being developed like ‘Gboard’, he said that this input system or keyboard will contain features like automatic next character and next word suggestion.

“Information technology would be made accessible to persons with disabilities through screen readers, Braille converters and sign-to-text recognition systems. A layout free keyboard called Universal Board is also being developed to bring minority languages under information technology,” he added.

Digital resource archives are also being created to preserve the languages of minorities, Palak said.

In the meeting, the state minister said that work is underway to build 100 million syntactic treebank corpus, which is basically part of the national corpus.

“The first Corpus Driven Lexicon in Bangladesh is being made from this component. The program also includes a ten-hour speech corpus,” he said.

“Measures are being taken for the views of social networks through sentiment and emotion analysts,” he said.

During the exchange of views, it was informed that tools like crowdsource application, NLP pipeline and scraper are being developed using domestic technology.

The state minister said that work is underway to create a mechanical translator service in 10 languages from Bengali, and hoped that by 2021, these artificial intelligence services would revolutionize the country’s information technology sector, added the release.

Parth Pratim Dev, Executive Director of Bangladesh Computer Council, and other concerned officials were present at the meeting.