Last month, iFLYTEK signed the Chinese-Arabic Language Translation Research Agreement with the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (EMCIT). The EMCIT’s AI and high-performance computing applications center will now work with iFLYTEK to develop research projects in Arabic speech recognition, speech synthesis, and Chinese-Arabic translation.
As China looks to expand its Belt and Road Initiative, the agreement will strengthen an infrastructure for further partnerships in the Arab-speaking world through the research and development generated in coming years.
Founded in 1999, iFLYTEK focuses on technological research in speech and languages, natural language understanding, machine learning, and adaptive learning. The company has won several prestigious awards, including the Super AI Applicative Award at the World AI Conference, and was listed on the MIT Technology Review as one of the world’s 50 Smartest Company in 2017 and 2019.
The company also agreed to a five-year collaboration with MIT in 2018 for a resource and development project around human-computer interaction, new approaches to machine learning, and applied voice recognition. However, MIT cancelled the partnership due to iFLYTEK’s implications in the Chinese government’s ongoing genocide of Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other chiefly Muslim ethnic minorities in China’s northwest region.
Despite the cancellation of the agreement, along with the techno-trade war between the US and China, iFLYTEK — like many other AI companies during the COVID-19 pandemic — has experienced positive growth this year.
The Chinese-Arabic Language Translation Research Agreement will help both parties finalize construction of a Chinese-Arabic automatic translation system. Furthermore, iFLYTEK will provide speech and language technology training and share successful experiences with Egyptian researchers and engineers.
Under former President Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian government implemented the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to facilitate the country’s participation in the global information society. Currently headed by Amr Talaat, the ministry aims to implement strategic projects that will develop and secure the country’s information technology and telecommunications infrastructure.
At the Chinese-Arabic Language Translation Research Agreement signing ceremony, the minister spoke about the significance of using translation software to increase the exchange and distribution of knowledge and science and promote economic growth in Egypt and China. Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang expressed excitement about the opportunity to establish its first diplomatic relations with an African country, and to cultivate a strong relationship with a continent that includes a significant portion of the world’s population.