Numlock Sunday: Karen Hao on artificial intelligence without colonialism
By Walt Hickey
Welcome to the Numlock Sunday edition.
This week, I spoke to Karen Hao, who wrote A new vision of artificial intelligence for the people for MIT Technology Review. Here's what I wrote about it:
A non-profit radio station in New Zealand catering to a Māori listenership wanted to use natural language processing to digitally establish te reo, the Māori language, and develop tools for transcription and other similar tools. British colonization drove the language out, with 90 percent of Māori schoolchildren speaking native te reo in 1913 falling to just 12 percent of Māori in 1985. With the goal to reverse that trend, and to develop the digital tools, the couple that runs the station reached out to the community for audio recordings, within 10 days collecting 310 hours of speech-text pairs from 200,000 recordings and 2,500 people. That’s an outstanding dataset, and soon afterward they were able to develop a te reo speech recognition mo…