Google’s AI Photography app uses crowdsourcing to preserve endangered languages.

Woolaroo allows culture to protect their vocabulary in their own terms.Google offers a new way to preserve endangered languages. It gives the culture the AI tools it needs to protect the language itself. The company has launched Woolaroo, an open source photo translation web app (also available through Google Arts & Culture for Android and iOS) that helps preserve language at risk using machine learning and image recognition. Users simply hold their smartphone’s camera over an object, and AI can recognize the language and give a complete explanation along with pronunciation.However, Woolaroo’s true power comes from an open personality. Communities can use the platform to expand their vocabulary with their own terms. If you remember a word you haven’t covered yet, you can add it relatively without problems. This can be especially important for languages that don’t have their own words to describe modern concepts like phones or computers. You can also correct or delete inaccurate items.
The app initially offers navigation in 10 languages around the world, including Maori, Yiddish, and Aboriginal Australians. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it expands rapidly. UNESCO has determined that of an estimated 6,000 languages worldwide, “at least” 2,572 are facing at least some degree of risk. There is no guarantee that Woolaroo will continue to use the language, but you can ensure that the language and related records are not blurred.

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