Access to information has become essential for development in today’s age. However, the average Pakistani citizen is still unable to tap into this invaluable resource and make use of it due to multiple barriers to access this online information, including challenges due to literacy, language and Internet connectivity.
Enabling Information Access through Mobile Based Dialog Systems and Screen Readers for Urdu project
aims to equitable information access for the marginalized community in Pakistan, especially the non-literate, semi-literate and print impaired population for their socio-economic benefit. This project is funded by National ICT R&D Fund
, Ministry of Information Technology, Pakistan.
Specific Objectives are:
- To develop a framework for Urdu dialog systems, extensible to other domains and Pakistani languages
- To develop domain specific Urdu automatic speech recognition system for weather and location services
- Develop Urdu text to speech system based on earlier work, including SAPI interface
- To develop an Urdu screen reader compatible with a web browser, in order to enable visually impaired people to access the web using the Urdu TTS developed using SAPI interface
- To develop spoken language corpus including (i) district names of Pakistan in six accents of Urdu, (ii) location names of Lahore, and (iii) speech corpus of 10 hours from single professional speaker of Urdu for TTS training
- To develop practical speech based user interface in Urdu for the visually impaired community