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National AI Database Gains 1,000 Hours of Local English Voice Samples

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Singapore, Oct, 2019 -- Speech apps and tools such as voice transcription apps could soon be able to pick up Singapore English more accurately, as their developers can now access better data from an expanded corpus of local speech.

Some 1,000 hours of natural conversations on topics such as favourite foods and holidays have been added to the National Speech Corpus (NSC), an artificial intelligence (AI) database of locally accented speech maintained by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The NSC had previously only comprised 2,000 hours of read speeches.

The enhanced corpus can be used by software developers and researchers for a variety of purposes, including analysing contact centre conversation logs and creating virtual customer service officers.

The move was announced by Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran on Thursday (Oct 17) during the IMDA's SG:Digital Industry Day.

"The ICM (infocomm media) industry is a key enabler of Singapore's digital transformation," said Mr Iswaran.

"It... catalyses the transformation of other industries, spurring the adoption of technologies such as cloud computing and AI, allowing the creation of new business ventures and models."

On Thursday, Mr Iswaran also announced a new technical ability self-assessment tool which evaluates tech firms' capabilities and readiness to adopt cloud technology.

The online tool developed by the IMDA will guide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through a series of questions and then provide insights on what gaps there are and how to address them.

The tool's launch comes in the wake of another IMDA initiative launched in March called GoCloud.

GoCloud trains and coaches SMEs in the information and communications technology sector to adopt cloud technology solutions.

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Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.straitstimes.com

Date Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019



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