Artificial intelligence to help with Gaelic subtitles

ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) is being used to create a Gaelic subtitle service that could be used by the BBC.

Linguists and AI researchers from Edinburgh and Glasgow universities have been awarded £225,000 by the Scottish Government to develop the system.

The funding will also help the team to begin creating a “large language model” – which is described as being “similar to ChatGPT” – for Gaelic.

Resources being fed into the AI system include “15,000 pages of transcribed Gaelic narrative” from the School of Scottish Studies Archives, which is based at the University of Edinburgh.

The AI will also be trained using material from the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG), including some 30 million words from the University of Glasgow’s Corpas na Gàidhlig and vernacular recordings from the DASG’s Cluas ri Claisneachd audio archive.

William Lamb, professor of Gaelic ethnology and linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, said: “This is about compiling large amounts of knowledge – gleaned from Gaelic speakers in the past – and returning it to Gaelic speakers, in various forms, in the present.”

Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, professor of Gaelic at the University of Glasgow, added: “This will add substantially to the development of language technology for Gaelic.

“It is gratifying that DASG’s resources are being deployed in this way and being further developed.”

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