Technology developed by eGeneration
The ICT Division, in association with eGeneration, have successfully brought out a technology that adapts Bangla language with computing and ICT, making it a widely-used language across the globe.
Not only that, but it will soon be used to devise a technology that will enable robots to understand Bangla.
Christened "Dhwani", it is an artificial intelligence system of pronunciation-based writing style, like a converter engine that automatically converts inputs from Bengali to the international phonetic alphabet (IPA).
It shows how a Bangla word is pronounced in the IPA.
The software enables the conversion of Bangla to IPA using technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing.
So far, they have developed tech resources for experimental transliterations, such as speech-to-speech, text-to-speech, speech-to-text, etc.
If users write Bangla with English letters, such as Avro, it will appear in Bangla. If users write English with Bangla, the fonts will automatically appear in Bangla, said Mahbub Karim, the acting project manager of the project.
Its full facilities can be found at bangla.gov.bd but under trial versions.
But the government has plans to re-evaluate it three months from now after getting substantial feedback, Karim told Dhaka Tribune.
On February 26, ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak said during the converter's launch that Dhwani will help all the native speakers of Bangla, including ethnic groups and people with speech sight-hearing disabilities.
Establishing Bangla as an official language of the United Nations is also a target for them, which requires a variety of technology resources, including real-time automatic speech-to-speech machine translation, he also said.
The main purpose of this project was to enable all locals and foreigners to read Bangla with accurate pronunciation, said Md Nurul Huda, senior AI and natural language processing director of eGeneration.
Many services and resources of language technology and artificial intelligence are being created under the project.
These include 20 public-facing services, 16 research tools and resources, 8 types of standard and printed resources and 10 types of corpus or datasets.
The project will be completed with 100 per cent government funding and with the use of purely local resources.
Through this, the makers of Dhwani said that most of the services will reach the people by the end of 2021, and 16 software tools would be launched in phases by 2023 to enrich the Bangla language to serve the general public.
For those who research in Bangladesh, it will be an invaluable resource, they added.