Stuff to use AI tech to increase te reo Māori articles

News site Stuff Group Te Puna is partnering up with Straker and Microsoft to launch their AI tech pilot programme to increase the number the number of te reo Māori articles.

Through their new technology partnership, Microsoft and Straker are combining human translation with artificial intelligence to help normalise te reo Māori on Stuff’s platforms, digital channels, and publications.

With this partnership, Microsoft and Straker will enable the translation of Stuff’s content at scale, which is then followed by quality-checks by translators and editors before publication.

“Bilingual articles aren’t new at Stuff, we’ve been producing them for years. But this is the first time we will be using AI to translate even more articles at scale, which will be quality-checked by a human translator and our editorial team before being published, says Stuff’s Pou Tiaki Matua Carmen Parahi (Ngāti Hine, Rongowhakaata).

Read more: Stuff delivers largest digital news audience in NZ – stoppress.co.nz

Since 2020, Stuff has been publishing bilingual news articles and has seen been introducing it into their product titles, blogs, video and audio content.

Stuff moved from producing one to two articles a week to one or two a day, but this is miniscule compared to over one hundred pieces of English content published on their site daily.

However, the process took time and limited Stuff’s ability to translate live or breaking news.

“We’ve made it very clear we support the revitalisation of te reo Māori, a taonga and official language of New Zealand,” says Parahi.

“Our journey started with introducing macrons on Māori words and continues with our ability to now scale our te reo Māori capability with AI.”

Read more: Stuff invests in the future of grassroots journalism – stoppress.co.nz

With the partnership with Straker and Microsoft, Stuff is developing a te reo Māori translation tool to amplify, promote and create more engaging bilingual content.

“Artificial intelligence is the talk of almost every organisation these days, but it’s not about how technology can do more than humans. It’s about how this technology can do more with humans, for humans, and for the things that are important to us,” says Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director of Microsoft Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We’re delighted to be working with two truly visionary local organisations to show how technology can be a real enabler for Aotearoa society and culture.”

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