Egypt, China agree to develop Arabic-Mandarin NLP programme

Mohamed Alaa El-Din
2 Min Read

Egypt’s Applied Innovation Center and Chinese company iFLYTEK have signed a cooperation agreement, via video conference, to implement a development research project in natural language processing (NLP) and human speech recognition techniques.

The three-year agreement, whose signing was witnessed by Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat, will focus on the development of Arabic-Mandarin machine translation programme using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

The end goal is to provide technical solutions capable of understanding the Egyptian Arabic dialect and immediately translate it into Chinese dialects, and vice versa.

The project is set to provide 80 job opportunities for young people specialised in information technology, linguistics, and translation.

Minister Talaat said this agreement will contribute to the exchange of science and knowledge between Egypt and China. It also seeks to mix both civilisations through cooperation in the communications and information technology industry. This takes into account an understanding of living languages which is an important step towards building a digital Egypt.

It is expected that the project will also have an economic and social impact on all speakers of these languages. It comes as part of the Egyptian government and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s (MCIT) strategy to rebuild Egypt based on the foundations of civilisation and science.

Chinese Ambassador to Egypt, Liao Liqiang, said that cooperation in the AI field will have future implications in serving common interests. This will occur in addition to providing a quarter of the world’s population who speak Arab and Chinese with an important bridge for communication.

The Applied Innovation Center was established by MCIT last year, through which partnerships shall be forged with major international companies specialising in AI. The first phase of the Center focuses on health, agriculture, macroeconomy, NLP, and machine translation.

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