Despite speech increasingly becoming one of the main ways people interact with devices, voice technology remains largely closed off to Africa’s languages, accents, and speech patterns. Case in point: The world’s most popular voice assistants, Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, still don’t support any African languages. The continent has more than 1,000 languages. Common Voice, a crowdsourcing project started by the Mozilla Foundation in 2017, has been addressing this by inviting speakers of African languages to donate their voices to a free and publicly available dataset that researchers and developers can use to train voice-enabled apps, products, and services.
SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA