Dharamshala — Monlam Tibetan IT Research Centre launched its first ever Tibetan AI tools: the Machine Translation Model, Optical Character Recognition Model, Speech-to-Text Model and Text-to-Speech Model on Friday in Dharamshala and Director Geshe Lobsang Monlam said that we have to catch up with modern development in terms of Artificial intelligence (AI) in Tibetan language and these tools made people's work easier and helped them to complete tasks in a short space of time.
The Tibetan AI tools were developed by Monlam Tibetan IT Research Centre with the help of several sponsors and organisations. The project involves more than 400 people, most of them are Tibetan women accompanied by their professional managers. Initially, this project is scheduled for three years, the project could complete within a year, although there is still a lot to develop in terms of translation, text and speech.
Monlam Tibetan IT Research Centre organised an opening ceremony of the Tibetan AI tools: Machine Translation Model, Optical Character Recognition Model, Text-to-Speech Model and Text-to-Speech Model on the evening of November 3, 2023, in the hall of Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala, HP, India. The ceremony was attended by Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Kalon Norzin Dolma of the Department of Information and International Relations, members of the Standing Committee of the 17th Tibetan Parliament in Exile, secretaries of the Gaden Phodrang, secretaries of the CTA, representatives of Tibetan NGOs in Dharamshala and others invited to attend the ceremony. The final prototype of the software was handed over to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the same day.
In his inaugural address, Geshe Lobsang Monlam, Founder and Director of the Molam Tibetan IT Research Centre (MTITRC), said, "Artificial intelligence is developing in countries and around the world and we are also trying to catch up with modern development in terms of artificial intelligence. If we look back at our history, we could go shoulder to shoulder with the development of the world, therefore, we also need to go hand in hand with modern development".
He then briefly introduced the history of the MTITRC and its development, and he said, “Thanks to the support and involvement of heads and Monks of many religious monasteries, students, Tibetans of all ages and Westerners, and above all thanks to the moral and financial support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other sponsors, made this project possible."
Then, the new features of the software (monlam.ai) were presented to the public by the Monlam IT teams, including Tenzin Kalden, Chenrab Gyaltso, Tenzin, Chungtso, Tashi Tsering, Jamyang Tsultrim, Sonam Phentso, Tenzin Geshe and Tenzin Nyima. They explained the Tibetan AI tools: the machine translation model, the optical character recognition model, the text-to-speech model and the text-to-speech model, one after the other.
They said that these tools will help Tibetans translate from Tibetan into English and visa, recognise text (text scanner) from paper and speech can be converted into text and text can be converted into speech in a short time and make people's work easier and more convenient. They also said that these tools are not perfect yet, but they will improve in terms of translation, text recognition, speech-to-text conversion and visa.