“Global sprint” may sound too foreign to most people. It in fact refers to a global online event run in many countries by Mozilla. In Indonesia, Mozilla Community held it today (May 10, 2018). It aims to spur people’s contribution to many Mozilla’s nonprofit beneficial projects.
One of its open source and nonprofit projects is Common Voice, whose goal is to teach machines how humans speak. Another product that may share similar functions is Google Voice. But Common Voice is different in that the data gathered here is NOT intended for commercial, forprofit purpose.
Here we contributed by collecting a huge amount of written texts in a certain language. In my case, my team was working on Common Voice in Bahasa Indonesia [Bahasais the improper way to refer to the language, for your information] or Indonesian.
Why does our contribution matter?
Because we all know that Internet is dominated by English-speaking, Anglosaxon-cultured audience. How about other Internet users who don’t speak or write the language? Did we notice that English content on the web is so easily found but in Indonesian less content can be found?
Mozilla is focusing on how to include these marginalized people while still giving control of their data. And because it is nonprofit by nature, they rely on volunteers.
Speaking of Indonesian representation in Common Voice, there is hardly data stored there. To fix the situation, Mozilla allows anyone to contribute by donating their sentences to the database.
“Wait, why should I do this?” you may ask yourself.
So here is the advantage. You may not help yourself directly but if you contribute, the database may help those who plan to do research on a limited budget for educational, nonprofit purposes (such as for their academic final project, thesis or dissertation research) to make their dream come true.
We read some texts and later our voice can be changed into texts by means of STT (speech to text) feature. The more sources provide texts and feedbacks, machines would distiguish voices better and more accurately. If there is any error, it is correctable.
In this Global Sprint 2018, contributors present in Jakarta’s Mozilla Community Space were sitting together to store as many sentences as possible on the database of Common Voice to improve the machines’ performance in recognizing various human voices.
Below are important and informative links you can click in case you need more resources on this Global Sprint:
- about Mozilla Global Sprint: https://mzl.la/global-sprint
- about Mozilla Common Voice Project: https://voice.mozilla.org/id
- about Mozilla Community Voice Sprint: https://voice-sprint.mozilla.community/contributing/
- Where to upload your sentences: https://voice-sprint.mozilla.community/upload/