Gianfranco Mazzoccoli, CEDAT85 Founder – Daniel Santanach, Coordinator of the AI Strategy of Catalonia Secretariat of Digital Policies – Enrico Giannotti, CEDAT85 Managing Director
Daniel Santanach was one of the memorable participants in the round tables organised at the CEDAT85 stand during ISE 2022. Before the start of the meeting, Enrico Giannotti and Gianfranco Mazzoccoli took the opportunity for a quick discussion with Santanach on how CABOLO® could help preserve the linguistic identity of Catalonia.
Enrico Giannotti: “Welcome Daniel. CABOLO®, our Artificial Intelligence solution is aimed at making meetings accessible through real-time subtitling. We also use it for this conversation, which will be automatically translated to English by an Artificial Intelligence system.”
Daniel Santanach: “This simultaneous translation is truly spectacular. I work for the Government of Catalonia and I can tell you that we are carrying out projects that leverage precisely on Artificial Intelligence. CABOLO® could offer an interesting contribution, especially if there was the possibility of including Catalan amongst the available languages.”
Enrico Giannotti: “Our intention is precisely this, that is to give substance to the concepts of digitisation and Artificial Intelligence. Making meetings in minority languages accessible thanks to transcription also makes it possible to preserve the knowledge of these languages, dialects, and specifically languages that are increasingly lost with globalisation. Inside every language there is our history, the history of a community. We are currently working on requests that have been made for the Basque language, but if there is an interest on the Catalan front, we can also start a new project.”
Daniel Santanach: “Wonderful! I would say that we can discuss this interesting option in-depth.”
Enrico Giannotti: “In this context, what are the initiatives that Barcelona is implementing, and how do you see these technologies applied for the good of the community?”
Daniel Santanach: “The most important project we are working on this year is called AINA, which aims to develop resources for Artificial Intelligence and language technologies that make it possible to make a qualitative leap in the digitisation of the Public Administration, to facilitate the digitisation and internationalisation of Catalan companies and their access to the European Digital Single Market, while ensuring the survival of Catalan language. To achieve this goal, the project provides for a free infrastructure open to companies, such as CEDAT85 for example, which could enhance it by breaking down language barriers.”
Gianfranco Mazzoccoli: “We consider local languages, regional languages, and minority languages as cultural assets that must be preserved and integrated in the globalisation process. All this conservation work is first of all a moral obligation and then also a practical need. Anyone who travels must not have communication difficulties in the country where they are located. We must ensure that technology helps to break down language barriers while preserving this cultural asset which is the native language. Therefore, the development on the Catalan language, for example, would not be just business for us, but a duty, that is to put technology at the service of people, not people at the service of technology. ”
Daniel Santanach: “I absolutely agree. We have the same opinion. For us Catalans the language is very important. It is our identity. ”
At the end of the interview, Enrico Giannotti and Daniel Santanach met Sergi Frontons, Director of the Development Department of Fraternidad Muprespa and Gabriel Anzaldi, Director of Scientific and Technological Development of Eurecat to start the round table on “Inclusion and language barriers in parliamentary debates” where they continued to talk about how Artificial Intelligence can have a social impact and bring benefits to the community.