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Celtic language use in AI technologies to be discussed at Wales Academic Symposium

30 Nov 2023 3 minute read
Picture by the Welsh Government

Stephen Price

Keynote speakers from Brittany, Ireland and OpenAI will present at the Wales Academic Symposium on Language Technologies at Bangor University tomorrow (1 December 2023).

The emphasis will be on Welsh and other less-resourced languages, but papers on these technologies in general will also be welcomed.

The main focus of the symposium will be Language Technologies, including Speech Technology and Translation Technology; Natural Language Processing; and Artificial Intelligence and Language.

Recent advancements in natural language processing and artificial intelligence have revolutionized the digital realm, pushing the boundaries of what we once thought computers could accomplish. 

However, less resourced languages present unique challenges. The Symposium provides a platform to discuss these issues and more in the context of Welsh and other Celtic languages such as Breton, Cornish, and Irish.

Scarce resources

Featuring as one of the key speakers will be Colin Jarvis, a representative from OpenAI who has a personal interest in the Celtic languages. He will consider how academia and OpenAI can improve support for less-resourced languages in relation to the large language models (LLMs) that power modern artificial intelligence.

Mélanie Juitteau, from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Loïc Grobol, from the University of Paris Nanterre will discuss the lessons they have learnt from developing natural language processing for Breton and the challenges of working in a context where resources are scarce.

Emily Barnes, Assistant Professor in Language Education at Trinity College Dublin will expand on the Celtic perspective by discussing increasing the provision of Irish in the field of assistive technologies for users with specific needs.

Gruffudd Prys, Head of The Language Technologies Unit said, “This will be the third academic Symposium of the series, providing an opportunity for academics to share research that will help shape the field of language technologies in the future. The focus extends beyond the Welsh language to other similar languages such as Irish, Breton and Cornish, where we need to ensure that the appropriate technology, data and legislative protection is in place to allow them to thrive.”

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “We’ve long recognised the need to invest in Welsh language technologies and I’m delighted to be able to sponsor today’s symposium. Hopefully this will be an opportunity to discuss and share new ideas because working together like this is going to lead to better Welsh technology.”

For further information please visit: or follow the link to register:

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