|Image Source: IIIT-H|
Developing an indigenous ASR for Indian languages has been a goal for us since a long time. In that regard we have been experimenting a lot, trying out various neural network architectures.
While doing these experiments we found that there was no good dataset for Indian languages. While discussing with IIIT professors we got to know that the government of India was also exploring options to generate a good dataset. We immediately offered our help and our platform for this endeavor.
So, as a starting step we have come up with a few campaigns to encourage users to donate speech data. We wanted to make it fun, so our first few campaigns are along the lines of JAMs(Just a Minute speech topics) etc. A topic will be provided and you need to speak for a minute on that topic.
We have started this campaign for college students to start with. Of course anyone can participate and contribute their data. The more the merrier :)
We will adding a lot more innovative ways utilizing a lot more channels to encourage users to contribute their voice data. Keep checking.
This data will be made publicly available for free by the government to everyone once it is transcribed.
The following is a blurb from the IIIT-H website which explains the goal much better:
We are a land of many spoken languages. Our People have huge aspirations. We are a growing nation.
"Should language come in the way of our people's aspirations?"
As one of the national missions of Government of India. We are developing technologies specifically for Indian Languages to enable Speech
to Speech translation.
For that data quality and quantity are critical. We need high-quality language data for developing system that can understand and respond to human
speech in variety of environments and contexts.
We at IIIT-Hyderabad, have embarked on a nation wide project to collect conversational speech from open population across multiple languages
We are seeking participation from as many people across the country.