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AI program used to protect Suzhou dialect

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iFLY, the IME (input method editor) arm of IFLYTEK Co Ltd, a Chinese software and hardware developer, and Suzhou Museum jointly released on the 44th International Museum Day on May 18 an AI program on WeChat platform. The program enables users to upload their audio recordings of reading descriptions about collections at the museum in Suzhou dialect.
It is learnt that the AI program was developed under iFLY’s Dialect Protection Plan which, launched in 2017, is designed to establish a Chinese dialect database and develop dialect voice input solutions to help widen use of various dialects. It is expected to help enhance inheritance and preservation of Suzhou dialect which, boasting a long history and rich local cultural connotation, is much less used today.
The program offers pictures and texts about collections at Suzhou Museum. The users can select any sentences or paragraphs they like, and then tap and hold the voice message button and read them out in Suzhou dialect. When they release the button, their voice messages will be uploaded.
IFLYTEK (Suzhou) Co Ltd, an IFLYTEK branch that has been engaged in development of Suzhou dialect recognition and related speech synthesis technologies since its founding in SIP in 2017, is providing support for the program. Besides, Soochow University’s Suzhou Dialect Association and a number of experts in Suzhou dialect have offered support, too.

May 18, 2020