Speech Tech Tool For Northeastern Languages Developed at IIT Guwahati

IIT Guwahati researchers are developing a speech technology tool that will enable retrieval of healthcare related information in seven northeastern languages.

This new technology that’s being developed at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati uses spoken keyword spotting (KWS) in northeastern languages. The languages include Hindi, English, Assamese, Bangla, Bodo, Manipuri, Khasi, Mizo, Nagamese, and Nepali.

A database of health-related information in common languages spoken in northeast India will also be produced as part of the initiative. People in far-flung parts of North East India should be able to obtain healthcare-related information in their own languages as a result of this project. The IIT Guwahati team will work together with research teams from CDAC-Kolkata, IIIT Sri City, and NIT Manipur.

The project’s spoken keyword spotting (KWS) systems will be able to detect a list of predefined terms in a given voice signal in one of the project’s target languages. Modeling speech with state-of-the-art deep neural network techniques will be part of the endeavour.

Highlighting the unique aspects of this project, TG Sitharam, director, IIT Guwahati, said, “This work embodies IIT Guwahati’s commitment to work for the local languages and ethnicities of North East India. The interdisciplinary nature of the project and the focus on local languages reflect the spirit envisaged in the National Education Policy 2020.”

“The institute is committed to developing tools that will facilitate last-mile connectivity and information dissemination to the various communities living in the NE area, in their own languages. This project will be a step towards achieving that aim”, said Rohit Sinha, principal investigator of project, and Head, department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, IIT Guwahati.

Sinha further stated that the Centre for Linguistic Science and Technology (CLST) is a one-of-a-kind, fully interdisciplinary centre dedicated to the analysis and development of technology in North East Indian languages through research projects and its PhD programme.

The Centre for Linguistic Science and Technology (CLST) at IIT Guwahati has got funding for this project from the ministry of electronics and information technology, Government of India, under its ‘National Language Translation Mission (NLTM): BHASHINI’ initiative.


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