Published on March 2022

Linguistic and cultural diversity as an integral human right aspect of Internet freedom in the digital age

As part of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa 2021 (September 28-30), this roundtable was supported by the International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) under the auspices of UNESCO, the Knowledge 4 All Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia.

Languages are a cornerstone of cultural identity. They are the means by which we bequeath our cultures and norms from generation to generation. However, the digital realm is an unfair ground where only a few global languages dominate, letting smaller African language groups behind. Therefore, in this panel discussion, a multi-disciplinary range of speakers will discuss how linguistic and cultural diversity can be preserved in the light of the digital age we are living in. Highlighting the efforts made by Masakhane, the focus of the panel discussion will lie on how openly accessible text and speech datasets can fuel Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies. Thereby, a particular emphasis is put on how the African Union (AU), European Union (EU) and other players in the field can join forces in leveraging the presence of African languages in the information society.


International Research Centre
on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI)
under the auspices of UNESCO 

Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana


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