A new te reo Māori app, Kōrero Māori, that works as a transcription tool is set to be launched later this year. The software is the first of its kind and has been under development for two years.
There are two main components to the speech recognition system: an acoustic model, and a language model.
Peter Lucas, who is the C.E.O of Te Hiku Media, explains that the app works "to divert and transcribe what we say in to a text form and vice versa".
"Whatever the speaker says we grab, we transfer in to the computer. The computer then articulates what would be the most correct and accurate interpretation that matches what they're saying."
It has taken two years to get Kōrero Māori up and running and with more than 3,000 interviews stored in Te Hiku Media's archives, the app also makes use of a wealth of data.
Keoni Mahelona, who manages Te Hiku Media's digital platform, says, "The data we captured there feeds into the Kōrero Māori kaupapa which is building a corpus that enables us to do te reo Māori speech recognition, speech synthesis and one thing that we currently have in data that we're developing is some real-time pronunciation feedback."
The app will not only benefit Māori, but has the potential to benefit other indigenous languages which are in need of revitalisation. A tool for all of the Pacific nations.
"The key there, for indigenous people is bringing those languages together that are quite similar and collecting that together to build something that is quite empowering."
In July, Te Hiku Media will travel over to Canada to introduce those of the native American community to the resource.