International. "The Spanish language has a tremendous challenge ahead. It is necessary that we all place Spanish where it deserves, also in the digital world. " With this call, José María Álvarez-Pallete, president of Telefónica, has urged to develop artificial intelligence based on the Spanish language. He has done it during his participation in the VIII Congress of the Language that is celebrated in Córdoba, Argentina.
He also urged "to understand how the synthetic language with which we already relate is being forged" when we asked the voice assistant the news of the day, the weather, the traffic information, the result of a football match, when using the messaging applications, or when translating texts using digital translators. José María Álvarez-Pallete has indicated that "it is urgent to do it by developing artificial intelligence based on our language, such as Telefónica's Aura".
The president of Telefónica explained that, after Chinese, the Spanish occupies the second position by importance. Spoken by 480 millions of people as a first language, it exceeds by twenty percent in number of speakers to English. However, when reviewing the language in digital content "the Spanish falls to the fourth position and the English rises to the first, with a weight ten times greater than that of our language," he said.
On the other hand, has indicated that "our language is also exposed to other risks." The reason for this phenomenon is found in the data with which an artificial intelligence learns to speak. "The less precise, the more erroneous or less relevant they are, the more errors, limitations or even biases will be incorporated into the synthetic language. This is a threat to the future of our language that we can not ignore if we want to ensure the use of Spanish for future generations. "
The president of Telefónica has also analyzed how language errors spread at great speed and how artificial intelligence learns from them. He has used examples such as cocreta, which appears in almost eighty thousand search references; the misuse of the imperative of the verb say, say it, that throws more than two million results, while its correct form, say it, shows something more than three thousand. Vocablos of less habitual use, disappear or yield residual results.
Abbreviations and inaccuracies when using messaging applications popularize the use of orthographic or grammatical incorrectness. "The cultural biases of gender are present in the searches," said José María Álvarez-Pallete. Some of the examples that you have used: if a user writes appeared in English, the translator's usual result is a surgeon, in masculine; if the user types nurse, the result will be nurse, in feminine; If you type engineer, engineer appears, in masculine and if you type nanny, the result will be nanny, in feminine.
Regarding the impact that the most common word processors have on the configuration of the new synthetic language and its impact on the correct use of the language, it has underlined that many of these processors "fail to recognize correct words" and, in addition, when this happens , "Propose to correct and replace them, thus leading to an impoverishment and thinning of the lexicon, and this is the time to address it, since in the coming years hundreds of millions of machines will speak Spanish."
Finally, he underlined the essential role of the Academy and recalled that "the change of time requires new rules and the new rules bring new ways of tackling problems". The president of Telefónica has insisted that "the synthetic language learns and we have tools, knowledge and experts to teach it properly."