Meta introduces AI models to empower multilingualism

These models expand the capabilities of speech recognition and generation technology, now supporting over 1,100 languages and identifying more than 4,000 spoken languages.

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Meta announced a series of artificial intelligence (AI) models that significantly expand the capabilities of speech recognition and generation technology in an attempt to address the problem of endangered languages and multilingualism in the digital sphere. These models, called Massively Multilingual Speech (MMS) models, can now handle over 1,100 languages, compared to the previous limit of around 100 languages. They can also identify more than 4,000 spoken languages. 

The company utilised publicly available audio recordings of religious texts, particularly the New Testament, which provided an average of 32 hours of data per language to gather data for such a vast number of languages. 

Meta’s objective is to further extend the reach of MMS models, allowing them to accommodate a wider range of languages and overcome the obstacles associated with dialects, a current hurdle in speech technology. By open-sourcing its models and code, the tech giant stated that it intends to encourage collaboration from the research community to preserve languages and foster global connectivity.