The world’s first crowdfunded translating device, comes to CES to introduce Travis Foundation, an initiative that digitises lesser-resourced languages and gives everyone the right to be understood.
Travis Foundation’s launch will take place at CES, Las Vegas in 2017.
From the success of Travis the Translator, a portable translation device, there was a discovery of significant inequality in digital resources across languages. While some languages are present in the digital world, able to be spoken, searched, translated and used in AI, half of the world’s population don’t have this luxury – and the language inequality gap continues to widen. This led the team to start Travis Foundation, an initiative built around developing lesser resourced languages as a means to both close the language inequality gap and preserve culture.
Travis the Translator
Travis the Translator is the first pocket-size instant voice translator using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It bridges the barriers between languages and allows international travellers and professionals to communicate with anyone, anywhere.
Travis the Translator has had many successes including:
- Over $1.5k raised at crowdfunding campaign
- Almost 50,,000 users from 100+ countries and counting
- More than 1,500 features in worldwide media outlets
- Over 250 devices donated to partner programs to help bridge barriers for aid workers and refugees
Serious Inequality in Digital Languages Technology
The uses for Travis extend beyond that into industries such as police, medical, military, aid work and more. There are currently over 7,000 languages in the world and only around 100 that are digitised. Even in these hundred, there is a serious gap in progression between languages such as English and Spanish compared to Arabic and Indonesian for example.
These languages simply don’t receive a fair share of resources. If only a small percentage of languages continue their exponential growth, half the world would be left in the dark ages. Imagine, not being able to operate voice activated bank services because your native language is not supported.
Travis Foundation is working to change this, and also to bring to light the grotesque inequality that large organisations seem to ignore. It is urgent that the technology industry acknowledges this huge inequality, so that together we can build solutions.
This is an issue bigger than Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Facebook and other large tech giants – it’s an issue that requires the entire global community to solve together, an inequality that the digital world is failing to realise. Travis Foundation hopes to bring awareness to this inequality at CES and grow the community and technical team to develop these lesser resourced languages.
There are over half a billion Eritrean refugees in Europe alone and one of the primary languages, Tigrinya, has no digital copy. This means it cannot be Googled, translated, incorporated into technology and improved with AI.
Once Tigrinya is digitised, the global community will have the tools and knowledge to continue language digitisation in other under-privileged and minority languages with the vision of digitising 20 languages by 2020. Furthermore, the digital creation of language enables Travis the Translator to use it in Translation technology to help refugees around the world and aid workers in Eritrea and Ethiopia. It also creates a base for language and culture preservation and can be used as an education tool in learning a new language.
Together, Travis the Translator and Travis Foundation appeals to everyone at CES to be aware of the digital language inequality, spread the word, gather all our resources together to close this language inequality gap. (Call to action, eg. support with a signup)
Everyone has the right to be understood.