Emmanuel Gabriel, a Nigerian ICT professional, has announced the availability of his Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform that he says can translate over 2,000 African languages. The platform, OBTranslate, is said to use AI and neural network systems to be able to translate thousands of African languages seamlessly and on-demand.

The other part of OBTranslate is that it uses humans who know African languages to help teach the platform and also, in some cases, help with content moderation for customers.

“After the launch of OBTranslate, I hope it will break communication barriers in Africa and create job opportunities for people. Farmers will be able to trade their goods and services without language communication barriers. OBTranslate machine language, AI algorithms have curated over 9 billion accurate tasks, to be translated in over 2,000 African languages which are available in our neural network connections. Our goal is to break language communication barriers in rural and urban areas in Africa and it will enable self-driving cars, smartphones, linear robots and wireless technology to communicate and interact with Africans in their dialects,” said Gabriel.

OBTranslate website.

Using Artificial Intelligence for human language translation

Translating human languages is one of the things we have experienced that AI is not only well suited for, but quite good at too. Services like Google Translate have demonstrated over the years that it is quite possible, as they get better, that the role of human text translators could be reduced. However, what has been missing has been the translation of African languages.

This is the part that Gabriel believes OBTranslate can make a difference. The AI powered platform also hires and pays Africans with knowledge of their native languages to perform tasks language related tasks on OBTranslate and earn money.

“Our machine language, AI algorithms with neural network connections have curated billions of tasks waiting for Africans who can teach our machine their local dialect. The first phase of the project comes with 9 billion tasks, and the 2nd phase comes with 12 billion tasks. It is projected to hire about 100 million Africans, with a projection of US$3.6 billion passive income for Africans with the capacity," said Gabriel.

The prospect of human translators eventually losing their jobs to AI-powered language translation platforms such as OBTranslate seems inevitable. This sentiment was also echoed by Ofer Shoshan, CEO of One Hour Translation, when he stated that neural machine technology (NMT) translators will carry out more than 50% of the translation work handled by human translators.


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