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Igor Leturia Boise-Reno

We've been in Boise and Reno explaining the situation of Euskera in the artificial intelligence era.

2023 | September 25
  • Igor Leturia, head of speech technologies at the Orai NLP Teknologiak Centre, promoted by Elhuyar, has been in Boise and Reno explaining the situation of Spanish-related language technologies.
  • Your stay in the United States has been made possible by the Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair promoted by the Etxepare Basque Institute at Boise State University.
  • Leturia has taught several lectures and classes on artificial intelligence for the Basque Country, and has shown the Elia, Aditu and TTS systems of Elhuyar.

Igor Leturia, head of speech technologies at the Orai NLP Teknologiak Centre, promoted by Elhuyar, was the guest lecturer this year at the Bieter Eloise Garmendia Chair, led by the Etxepare Basque Institute at Boise State University (BSU). Leturia has taught classes, specific lectures and open talks in Boise and Reno between 13 and 25 September to publicize the situation of the Basque Country in the artificial intelligence era.

During his stay in the United States, Leturia has been the lead rapporteur for the World Languages International Conference on Cultural Studies organized by the Boise State University and the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada (Reno). He has also taught classes and lectures at the Boise State University Department of World Languages and the Faculty of Informatics, the Boise Basque Museum and the University of Nevada (Reno) Center for Basque Studies.

With the stay organized this year through the Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair, “we wanted to bring the everyday and academic knowledge of Euskal Herria to the universities of Boise and Reno and the Basque community. I've told you what we do in the field of language and speech technologies. Basque culture, history, Euskera, etc. work hard. But this year the organizers wanted to demonstrate to the community that state-of-the-art technology is also being worked on for the Basque Country and the Basque Country.”

Thus, Leturia has shown from different perspectives the place that Euskera occupies in the field of artificial intelligence that we live in today. On the one hand, it has released Elia (Elhuyar neural auto-translator), Aditu (Elhuyar speech recognizer) and the Elhuyar TTS system (speech synthesis), which use Orai technology. On the other hand, he explained which strategies and technologies have been developed in Basque language technologies until reaching these systems. It has also highlighted the strategies used by low-resource languages to develop current language and speech technologies based on large masses of data. At the University of Boise School of Informatics, for example, “I wanted to explain how different it is, the problems that arise and the strategies that are used to research and obtain language technologies with languages that are not of the size of English”, says Leturia.

Leturia is satisfied with his reception in the diaspora: “For me, personally, it was a very nice opportunity. This stay has been a great challenge; the need to prepare classes and conferences for a very different audience is a challenge, both academic and professional, because it involves clarifying and organizing ideas and preparing for dissemination and education. I have also met many professors and researchers who are dedicated to language technologies at the university here, which can help foster future partnerships. And above all, I have had the opportunity to discover and know firsthand the Basque diaspora and the Basque communities of Boise and other places in the United States. It's really fascinating."

Orai NLP Teknologiak

Orai is an artificial intelligence center specialized in cutting-edge research and intelligent technology solutions in natural language processing (NLP). It has several success cases backed by over 20 years of experience. Proof of this is that, during all these years, the members of the group have published more than one hundred scientific articles and have pioneered the studies that have been carried out in the Basque Country in the field of natural language processing. The team consists of 8 researchers.

Chair Eloise Garmendia Bieter

To strengthen the recognition and visibility of Basque and Basque studies, the Etxepare Basque Institute drives Basque studies in prestigious international universities. The chair Eloise Garmendia Bieter was launched in 2015 with the objective of promoting the teaching and research of themes related to Basque and Basque culture, due to the commitment that Garmendia herself has had with Basque culture and the role that she has played in the Basque community of the United States.