26.04.2022 - 10:21
Actualització: 13.06.2022 - 10:11
“It’s time the internet speaks Catalan.” For one day, this is the message that shows on one of the giant screens of the iconic Times Square, in the heart of New York. The advertising action, which began on Tuesday morning (5.30 pm local time), is part of the AINA project, which aims to make machines understand and speak Catalan and which has already introduced 1.7 million voices.
The promotional event, which costs around 3.000 euros, is part of the Catalan government’s tour to promote the campaign, which has also been taken to northern Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Country. The vice president of the Catalan Government, Jordi Puigneró, is in New York and will sign an agreement with UN-Habitat for Catalonia to host a pioneering United Nations project. Puigneró insisted that the languages that want to survive must be digital: “This is a project to save Catalan.” Framed in the Sant Jordi events of the Catalan community in New York, the broadcasting of the video on the giant screens of Times Square will be repeated intermittently during twenty-four hours.
By now, the goal of collecting one million recordings before the summer has been reached, and 1.7 million voice cuts have been recorded. The next goal will be to reach two million recordings. “The more voices we have that speak Catalan, the faster the process for machines and the digital world to understand Catalan will be,” added Puigneró, who assured that the government wants technology companies to have no excuses for not using artificial intelligence that do not understand Catalan.
With the collaboration of Ràdio América Barcelona (RAB), a transoceanic Catalan radio station with studies in Barcelona and in various South American countries, the vice-president has presented the initiative to Catalans around the world in a special program made from New York and with live connections with the Catalan community on Twitter and with the Catalan communities in Brussels (Belgium), Guayaquil (Ecuador), Mexico City (Mexico) and La Plata (Argentina) .
During the program, which has been broadcast online by RAB’s Internet and Twitch radio channels, the Catalan communities have actively participated in the recording of voices for the AINA project and have explained the activities they carry out to promote and keep the Catalan language alive abroad.