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Dr. Stephen Moore receives Google research grant for Artificial intelligence (AI)

Dr. Stephen Moore is a senor lecturer at the Department of Mathematics, University of Cape Coast, Ghana has been awarded a Google research grant of 30,000USD to continue research in Artificial Intelligence (AI). The award was granted to Dr.  Moore, who is also a co-founder and director of programs at Ghana Natural Language Processing (Ghana NLP), to accelerate research in natural language processing (NLP) in low-resource languages in Ghana and Africa. 

Natural Language Processing is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI)  that is focused on how computers can process languages like humans do. It is an interdisciplinary field of linguistics and computational science including artificial intelligence that is concerned with the interactions between computers and human language usually involving the processing and analyzing of large amounts of language data.  

Since 2020,  Dr. Moore and his colleagues at Ghana NLP have been developing tools for both text and speech translation for low-resource languages including Akan (Asante, Akuapem and Fante), Dagbani, Ewe, Ga, Guruni, Igbo, etc. In 2021, Ghana NLP launched ABENA : A BERT Now in Akan and several other models.

Last year at the re-opening of Google's new office in Accra, Ghana, Dr. Moore presented the state of art of NLP development in Ghana and the opportunities the country will gain by training and developing young people for the future. He presented the first Ghanaian and African Language translator App; Khaya; that has been launched by Ghana NLP together with Algorine (a partner company of Ghana NLP). The app uses state of the art language models with the ambition to create a unified translator for several languages in Africa.

Google’s research award is in recognition of Ghana NLP's efforts towards both development of such important regional tools and the training of volunteers at Ghana NLP. Ghana NLP is a social enterprise seeking to democratize NLP to Ghanaians through trainings, workshops and seminars and also to enable product development with such techniques. The research award is the first of such award Google has granted to any Ghanaian researcher.