Leader in data for the AI Lifecycle and nonprofit join forces to create an on-demand healthcare FAQ bot for Sheng speakers
SAN FRANCISCO — Nov 21, 2022 — Appen Limited (ASX:APX), the global leader in data for the AI Lifecycle, today announces its partnership with CLEAR Global, a nonprofit helping people get vital information and be heard, whatever language they speak, to develop a speech-based healthcare FAQ bot for Sheng, a Nairobi slang language.
Speakers of marginalized languages have a significant shortage of translated information, which creates a lack of understanding about crucial needs such as healthcare and education resources. To provide marginalized language speakers with readily available and accessible information, CLEAR Global, formerly Translators Without Borders, connects its network of over 100,000 linguists worldwide to nonprofit organizations in need of translation services. Armed with the power of Appen’s translation services and linguistic expertise, CLEAR Global will create a speech-based healthcare FAQ bot for Sheng that can provide on-demand information to citizens in need.
“Our partnership with CLEAR Global will be integral to breaking down language barriers in Nairobi and ensuring that people have access to critical healthcare information at all times.” said Sujatha Sagiraju, Chief Product Officer at Appen. “It is not enough for translations to be ‘mostly right,’ and Appen’s language services platform delivers nuanced and high-quality language data at the scale and speed required to make projects like this successful. By teaming up with CLEAR Global, we are proud to merge our leading language services platform with the world’s largest community of language specialists to provide key services to those in need.”
Sheng is Swahili-English slang used primarily by young people in urban areas, but is growing rapidly and being used in advertisements, public service announcements and political campaigns. However, Sheng varies heavily between neighborhoods and has high lexical turnover, which prevents widespread formalization and documentation. As Sheng usage continues to grow, it is vital that community resources can readily adapt to new variances in the lexicon and give people the most accurate and credible information possible.
“Languages are constantly evolving and it’s important that technology in essential industries like healthcare is able to keep pace,” said Paul Warambo, Swahili Language Lead for CLEAR Global. “Our partnership with Appen will ensure that we have the right foundation and tools to successfully provide the most accurate and updated information including health to Sheng speakers across different communities.”
Appen’s advanced data labeling expertise and vast network of more than one million linguistic experts will be crucial in developing Language Specific Peculiarities for Sheng. Appen’s Language Service Peculiarities (LSP) is a foundational document created and used for linguistic, transcription and translation work. The Sheng LSP contains information including background, dialects, phonemic characteristics, orthography and relevant Unicode. In providing the LSP alongside consultation sessions, Appen will facilitate CLEAR Global to undertake similar LSP research in the future and continuously improve its Sheng translation capabilities.
For more information on Appen’s expertise in data labeling and linguistics, visit appen.com/expertise.
About Appen Limited
Appen is the global leader in data for the AI Lifecycle. With over 25 years of experience in data sourcing, data annotation, and model evaluation by humans, we enable organizations to launch the world’s most innovative artificial intelligence systems. Our expertise includes a global crowd of over 1 million skilled contractors who speak over 235 languages, in over 70,000 locations and 170 countries, and the industry’s most advanced AI-assisted data annotation platform. Our products and services give leaders in technology, automotive, financial services, retail, healthcare, and governments the confidence to launch world-class AI products. Founded in 1996, Appen has customers and offices globally.