AI speaking Isan now available! KKU has invented “Wow Ja’ AI that transforms statements into Isan spoken language, the first of its kind ever in Thailand. The “Wow Ja’ is first used on the public transportation – KK City Bus. This has also built Isan identity and conserved the local dialect with new technology.
Development of AI is of interest all over the world, owing to a great number of tools and devices that help people’s lives more convenient nowadays. AI can transform sounds into statements and statements into images, or transforms statements into sound. Most of these are AI use of communication in English and Thai.
“Some Isan children nowadays cannot speak Isan. We therefore want to use the technology we researched as part of the means to conserve the local dialect.”
The concept sparked Isan young lecturer like Dr. Pongsatorn Janyoi, a lecturer of the College of Computing, Khon Kaen University and the owner of “Wow Ja”, decided to study and conduct research on the Natural Language and Speech Processing (NLSP). This is one branch of AI that makes use of computer to understand human language or natural language and transform statements into Isan spoken sound. The outcome also helps conserve the local and foundation of culture by the use of technology.
His research since he was studying the master’s degree and Ph.D. degree programs, under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Pussadee Sirisaengtrakoon, Ph.D., began from collection of over 5,000 sentences of the central Isan language spoken by native speakers. It was a well-over 6-hour record, on which he spent many months of collection. The record then underwent a statistical model process, synthesizing the sound naturally until the first AI version of sound transformation became successful.
That was the development before the second version or “Wow Ja” was invented using the Deep Learning where AI helps in transforming the statements into complete and correct Isan sound. Female voice has also been added.
“Wow Ja” can be easily used by just typing Isan reading. AI will synthesize it and change to Isan sound. It can be applied in many uses. Lately, Khon Kaen city bus has brought “Wow Ja” to announce the stopping points along the route. It has become the signature of Khon Kaen public transportation that tourists and users will be impressed.
Try listen to AI Wow Ja with male sound
Try listen to AI Wow Ja with female sound
Asst. Prof. Pussadee Sirisaengtrakoon, Ph.D., Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, the College of Computing added that the research on Natural Language and Speech Processing (NLSP) carried out at the college does not only cover AI Wow Ja that synthesizes sound, but there is also the program that translates language using the information retrieving tool, sound synthesizing, recognition of spoken sound, recognition of ancient letters and it can be applied in other sciences as well.
“Transforming statements into sound is very useful, especially for people with vision deficiency, who will be able to perceive information and news by listening. Wow Ja can be applied in various industries such as tourism, public relation, or medicine, and it will help conserving Isan culture into the future for the next generation.”
For those interested in using AI Wow Ja, please contact the Research and Innovation Section, College of Computing, Khon Kaen University. In the future, Wow Ja will be developed until it is full cycle, covering typing Thai words and transforming them to Isan sound, changing sound into statement and translating Thai into Isan or vice versa, as well as creating VOICE BOT similar to Siri in Isan and Thai to assist people to communicate. Then finally development will go on to cover other dialects.
News: Phanit Khatanak