Making NLP accessible — Talk at FOSSASIA Summit Singapore, 2018
The Internet is arguably the most incredible resource available to us; from shopping to education and everything in between, the web has proven to be an irreplaceable tool in our daily lives. However, for a country with the second-most population in the world, only a fraction of Indians are on the Internet right now and here is the problem; even as this number is growing steadily, the fact remains that the language of the Internet is predominantly English, rendering hundreds of millions of people less fluent in it completely helpless to navigate the online landscape.
Compared to popular, foreign tongues such as Spanish, French and Chinese, most Indian languages lack heavily in technological research and development, and the research that exists is being closed source by the big corporations. Even though the number of speakers may be much larger. Increasing in value by the minute, the Internet can be deemed a Universal Right, so we must ensure that everybody stands an equal chance of benefiting from it.
To combat this pressing issue, I along with Jithin James, built an Open Source A.I tool for the Malayalam language by collaborating with researchers and developers worldwide (http://makri.ml/ ). I was invited to the FOSSASIA Summit, 2018 as a Guest Speaker to shed light on the matter, on how we could bring together Open Source and the research community to build a sustainable eco-system.