IIT-G to provide remote NE residents access to healthcare info

The tools will enable the retrieval of healthcare-related information in seven Northeast Indian languages

Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT) is developing speech technologies for Northeast Indian languages to create speech technology tools for healthcare information dissemination in the interior areas of the Northeast region.
The project, which involves building speech technology tools for healthcare information dissemination in Hindi, English, Assamese, Bangla, Bodo, Manipuri, Khasi, Mizo, Nagamese and Nepali, will cater primarily to residents in remote areas access to healthcare-related information in their native languages. The tools will enable the retrieval of healthcare-related information with the help of spoken keyword spotting (KWS) in seven Northeast Indian languages.
As part of the project, a database of health-related information in seven languages spoken in the region will also be created. The Centre for Linguistic Science and Technology (CLST) at IIT-Guwahati has received funding for this project from the ministry of electronics and information technology under its 'National Language Translation Mission (NLTM): BHASHINI' initiative.
Highlighting the unique aspects of this project, IIT-G director T.G. Sitharam said, "This work embodies IIT Guwahati's commitment to work for local languages and ethnicities of North East India. The interdisciplinary nature of the project and focus on local languages reflect the spirit envisaged in the National Education Policy, 2020. Elaborating on the project, Rohit Sinha, principal investigator of the project and head of the department of electronics and electrical engineering, IIT-G, said, "The institute is committed to developing tools to facilitate last-mile connectivity and information dissemination among the various communities living in the region in their own languages. This project will be a step towards achieving that aim."
The interdisciplinary nature of the project and focus on local languages reflect the spirit envisaged in the National Education Policy, 2020
"The Centre for Linguistic Science and Technology is a unique and truly interdisciplinary centre devoted to analysis and technology development in the languages of North East India, through research projects and its PhD programme," Sinha said.
representative image of the IIT Campus
Image: representative image of the IIT Campus
The spoken keyword spotting (KWS) systems developed in the project will detect a list of predefined words in a given speech signal of one of the target languages of the project.
The efforts will involve modelling speech with the deep neural network based state-of-the-art techniques. Along with Sinha, the interdisciplinary team of CLST team comprises Priyankoo Sarmah, Sanasam Ranbir Singh and Ashish Anand from CLST, IIT-G.
This project is part of a larger consortium project titled "Speech Technologies for Indian Languages, led by IIT Madras as the consortium leader.



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