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New Arcada project aims to create AI algorithms to recognise Swedish dialects in Finland 

Published: 2021-05-05 / Press release

A speech recognition research project developing and testing AI algorithms that will recognise some of the different Swedish-speaking dialects across Finland has been launched by Arcada University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Åbo Akademi University and StageZero Technologies.  

In this project, funded by Svenska Kulturfonden (The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland), the parties will cooperate by gathering speech data in various Swedish dialects and developing speech recognition algorithms. Finally, Swedish-speaking people from across Finland will be invited to test the algorithms for perception, trustworthiness, and competence. 

– This project will explore how a close collaboration between industry and academia can support Finnish entities to integrate minority dialects in their services. In addition, the project will strengthen Arcada's strategy to create impactful research in the field of Human-Robot Interaction, says Leonardo Espinosa-Leal, senior lecturer in big data analytics at Arcada. 

The goal is to explore whether communicating with an automated system in one's dialect reduces the barriers to using such methods. Increasing the understanding of how people prefer to use robots and automated systems will help steer future directions of developing AI and speed up adopting such systems as they become available.  

The project will also contribute to Arcada’s degree programmes. 

– We expect the obtained experience and related research questions to be sources of novel ideas for future projects and thesis topics for our Master in Big Data Analytics, says Espinosa-Leal. 

Leonardo Espinosa-Leal heads the project at Arcada, Susanne Hägglund at Åbo Akademi University, and Thomas Forss at StageZero Technologies.