Preben and Lenna win a major global competition with tech giant, Mozilla

Congratulations to Preben Vangberg and Leena Farhat, members of staff at the Language Technologies Unit and PhD students at Bangor University for winning a major global competition with tech giant, Mozilla’s Common Voice.

In June 2022, Mozilla announced a global competition, ‘Our Voices’. The task was to design a text-to-speech model tackling bias and furthering diversity and inclusion. After receiving submissions from around the world, the selecting panel announced the top four entries that scooped first place in each category, with Preben and Leena among the winners.

Their winning model is focused on the Swiss minority language Romansh and for the two major Romansh dialects (Sursilvan and Vallader). It was praised for its performance, small character error rate and valuable contribution to a lesser resourced language.

After graduating with an MSc in Language Technologies at Bangor University, both Leena and Preben currently work as part time research assistants at The Language Technologies Unit and are connected to the Unit’s work with Welsh Common Voice. All of their colleagues at the Unit are very proud of their success!

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Publication date: 17 January 2023