Khaya: Ghanaian AI tech changing the narrative for Africa

Estimated read time 3 min read

Ghana has for the best part of its existence lacked behind in the field of technology, innovation and life-changing creation that shape the life of humanity. There are great Ghanaian scientists and inventors who are doing great outside the country, no doubt but producing what is truly Ghanaian has been off. But is soon fading out at least in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The new narrative changer is Khaya.

Khaya, is an AI and machine learning model that is powered to offer translation for Ghanaian languages is taking the game of language translation to the next level. Developed by the non-profit tech company Ghana Natural Language Processing, Ghana NLP, Khaya has been positioned to be the game changer in African language translation.

Though not the big dog in the industry as giants like Google still have super dominance in the number of languages it translates across Africa, Khaya is different. Khaya is the first of its kind in Africa offering general speech recognition capabilities and considering that it is powered by a non-profit company, it is a massive revolution and technological step up for Ghana and Africa in general.

What languages does Khaya translate?

Khaya offers translation in multiple languages across Ghana and Africa. Twi, Ewe, Dagbani and Ga were the first to get added to Khaya and the application offered even superior translation quality as compared to Google. The language added Yoruba in version 1.0.2 as it expanded into other African languages.

In its latest release, Khaya has support for even more Ghanaian languages as it has added Gurune to the list while offering improvement in voice recognition for Dagbani. The expansion into Africa includes the addition of Kikuyu, Kimeru and Luo languages which are spoken by millions of people across North Africa especially Kenya.

Prior to this new release, the last update includes the inclusion of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) capabilities for Dagbani, Twi, Ga and Yoruba as well as the neural text translation capabilities of those four languages in addition to Ewe.

Who is behind Khaya?

Khaya is purely powered by an African team made largely of Ghanaians working with the Open Source Initiative called the Ghana Natural Language Processing in partnership with Algorine. The aim of the two organizations is to promote life in Africa using AI and Machine Learning. Algorine for instance states that it is working at “Democratizing Access to Language AI & Machine Learning (NLP) in Africa”.

What Next and How Can You Support?

Having achieved so much success already, Khaya is definitely set to achieve more and the team is surely looking to make more Ghanaian languages available. With over 80 languages spoken in Ghana, Khaya would need more funding and support to cover all. More volunteers and language translators.

Khaya is offered for free and can be accessed from the Google Play and Apple App Store as well as via the web. Though free, Khaya has a subscription option that one can pay to access more features and to support the app’s development. For Android users, click Try Khaya to access the app and experience its language translation superiority. Users of the iOS can access it here at Khaya iOS while for the web you can click Khaya web.

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