Meta Builds AI Model to Translate 200 Languages
By Adedapo Adesanya
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has built an open-source No Language Left Behind’ NLLB-200, a single AI model that is the first to translate about 200 languages, including 55 African languages.
Meta is using the modelling techniques and learnings from the project to improve and extend translations on Facebook, Instagram, and Wikipedia.
In an effort to develop high-quality machine translation capabilities for most of the world’s low-resource languages, the single AI model was designed with a focus on African languages. They are challenging from a machine translation perspective.
AI models require lots and lots of data to help them learn, and there’s not a lot of human-translated training data for these languages. For example, there are more than 20 million people who speak and write in Luganda but examples of this written language are extremely difficult to find on the internet.
Meta noted that it worked with professional translators for each of these languages to develop a reliable benchmark which can automatically assess translation quality for many low-resource languages.
“We also work with professional translators to do human evaluation too, meaning people who speak the languages natively evaluate what the AI produced. The reality is that a handful of languages dominate the web, so only a fraction of the world can access content and contribute to the web in their own language.
“We want to change this by creating more inclusive machine translations systems – ones that unlock access to the web for the more than 4B people around the world that are currently excluded because they do not speak one of the few languages content is available in,” it said in a statement.
The CEO of Meta, Mr Mark Zuckerberg, in a post on his Facebook profile said – “It’s impressive how much AI is improving all of our services. We just open-sourced an AI model we built that can translate across 200 different languages — many of which aren’t supported by current translation systems.
“We call this project No Language Left Behind, and the AI modelling techniques we used are helping make high-quality translations for languages spoken by billions of people around the world.
“To give a sense of the scale, the 200-language model has over 50 billion parameters, and we trained it using our new Research SuperCluster, which is one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers.
“The advances here will enable more than 25 billion translations every day across our apps. Communicating across languages is one superpower that AI provides, but as we keep advancing our AI work it’s improving everything we do — from showing the most interesting content on Facebook and Instagram, to recommending more relevant ads, to keeping our services safe for everyone.”
On her part, Ms Balkissa Ide Siddo, Public Policy Director for Africa said, “Africa is a continent with very high linguistic diversity, and language barriers exist day to day. We are pleased to announce that 55 African languages will be included in this machine translation research, making it a major breakthrough for our continent.
“In the future, imagine visiting your favourite Facebook group, coming across a post in Igbo or Luganda, and being able to understand it in your own language with just a click of a button – that’s where we hope research like this leads us. Highly accurate translations in more languages could also help to spot harmful content and misinformation, protect election integrity, and curb instances of online sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”
While commenting on accessibility and inclusion in the pursuit of building an equitable metaverse, Ide Siddo added “At Meta, we are working today to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to access the new educational, social and economic opportunities that the next evolution of the internet will bring to future technology and an everyday living experience tomorrow.”
To confirm that the translations are high quality, Meta also created a new evaluation dataset, FLORES-200 and measured NLLB-200’s performance in each language. Results revealed that NLLB-200 exceeds the previous state of the art by an average of 44 per cent.
Meta is also open-sourcing the NLLB-200 model and publishing a slew of research tools to enable other researchers to extend this work to more languages and build more inclusive technologies. Meta AI is also providing up to $200,000 of grants to non-profit organizations for real-world applications for NLLB-200.
Partnership with Wikipedia
There are versions of Wikipedia in more than 300 languages, but most have far fewer articles than the 6+ million available in English.
Following Meta’s partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, modelling techniques and learnings from the NLLB research are now also being applied to translation systems used by Wikipedia editors.
Using the Wikimedia Foundation’s Content Translation Tool, articles can now be easily translated in more than 20 low-resource languages (those that don’t have extensive datasets to train AI systems), including 10 that previously were not supported by any machine translation tools on the platform.
Leave a Reply
Family Announces Death of General Dipo Diya
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A former Chief of General Staff, General Oladipo Diya (rtd), has been reported death by his family.
The late military officer was the second-in-command to the late Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha, from 1993 to 1997, when he was arrested for an alleged treason.
In a statement, Mr Oyesinmilola Diya said the former Military Governor of Ogun State died in the early hours of Sunday, March 26, 2023.
However, he did not disclose if the 79-year-old Odogbolu, Ogun State-born army general suffered from any illness before his demise.
In the statement, he only stated that further announcements would be made public in due course.
We Will Fulfil Paris Agreement on Climate Change—FG
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government of Nigeria has assured that it is ready to fulfil the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to ensure effective gender inclusion.
This was disclosed by Mr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, during the inauguration and inception workshop of the project in Abuja tagged The Nigeria Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), Just and Gender Inclusive Transition (JGIT) Project.
The project is aimed at helping countries to better assess the impacts of their climate policies and actions and fulfil their transparency commitments.
Mr Ngige said the objective of the inception meeting was to launch the ICAT Just Transition project and increase awareness among the national stakeholders for a better understanding of its implementation.
He said that ICAT, an International multi-stakeholder partnership of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), was supporting Nigeria in setting up Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) of a Just and Gender Inclusive Transition(JGIT).
The minister, represented by Ms Daju Kachollom, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said Nigeria had signed a Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with the UNOPS, represented by the ICAT management.
According to him, the PCA is to firm up the process leading to the take-off and implementation of the project over a 12 months period.
“The objectives of the project, among others, include developing JGIT monitoring and MRV and ensuring it links with the sectoral MRV system.
“Another objective is to Enhance Transparency Framework (ETF) implemented by the Federal Ministry of Environment to achieve synergy, institutional memory, and stakeholder inclusion and cooperation.
“It will further enable a tripartite cooperation between government, labour, and employer associations to achieve a Just and Gender Inclusive Transition going forward with the implementation of the Paris agreement,” he said.
The minister said that the ICAT project would be implemented by a team of national experts and international ICAT consultants under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
On his part, Dr Yerima Tarfa, ICAT, JGIT Project Team Lead, said the initiative would help to increase the overall transparency capacities of countries and assess the contribution of policies and development objectives.
According to him, this is by providing appropriate methodological information and tools to support evidence–based policymaking.
Dr Tarfa noted that Nigeria was the largest economy and leading oil producer, and most populous in Africa.
“It faces the unique challenge of having to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and increasingly, coal) while responding to the unmet energy needs of its growing population.
“Nonetheless, Nigeria is turning this challenge into an opportunity by increasing the use of renewable energy, reducing its carbon footprints, and eliminating gas flaring.
“Nigeria’s National Determined Contributions (NDCs) is committed to a 20 per cent emission reduction by 2030 unconditionally and 45 per cent conditional, with focus on power and electricity, oil and gas,” he said.
The team lead said the highlights of the NDCs include ending gas flaring by 2030 and a 30 per cent energy efficiency level by 2030.
He said the inauguration of the inception workshop would provide the opportunity to create awareness and build a national cross-knowledge sharing that would provide a platform for key stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of the Nigeria ICAT JGIT Project.
He added that this would further set up an MRV of Just and Gender Inclusive Transition and its Roadmap for implementation in Nigeria.
Appeal Court Restores Adeleke as Osun Governor
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
An appeal court sitting in Abuja on Friday upturned the judgment of the Osun governorship election tribunal, which removed Mr Ademola Adeleke as Governor of Osun State.
In January, the tribunal declared the former Governor of the state, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, as the authentic winner of the 2022 governorship election in the state.
While Mr Adeleke contested for the position under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Oyetola flew the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Adeleke was declared winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but Mr Oyetola, who contested as a sitting governor, approached the tribunal to dislodge the winner.
He argued that Mr Adeleke won through an electoral fraud, over-voting and his prayers were answered, as the tribunal upturned INEC’s decision and declared him the winner.
However, Governor Adeleke appealed the judgement and today, a three-member panel of justices held that the election tribunal erred when it ruled that Mr Oyetola and the APC proved their allegation of over-voting.
The appellate court held that Mr Adeleke was validly elected as the governor of Osun State and restored his mandate.
Latest News on Business Post
- Family Announces Death of General Dipo Diya March 26, 2023
- Wema Bank Educates Students on Personal Finance March 25, 2023
- Access Bank Gets Regulatory Nod to Merge Zambian Subsidiaries March 25, 2023
- BUA Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Others Drive Stock Market’s 0.06% Loss March 25, 2023
- Again, NASD OTC Exchange Valuation Crosses N1 trillion March 25, 2023
- Naira Appreciates at Official Market, Loses at Peer-to-Peer, Black Market March 25, 2023
- US Reserves Worries Tumble Crude Oil Market March 25, 2023
- CBN Distributes Naira Notes to Banks, Orders Weekend Operations March 25, 2023
- Nigeria Records 36.3% Rise in Insurance Premium in Q4 2022 March 24, 2023
- How Data Protection Policy In Nigeria Is Evolving To Secure Customers March 24, 2023
Pingback: Meta Builds AI Model to Translate 200 Languages – Business Post Nigeria – aclicksaving – Currency Blog