Covenant varsity, firm partner on AI, language translation device

Covenant University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with OBTranslate to undertake research and development activities in a broad range of areas.

The MoU between the two parties covers machine translation, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and linguistics for OBTranslate scientists to further develop the “OBTranslate” machine translation and generative AI platform.

This is contained in a joint statement issued on Sunday by the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abiodun Adebayo, and the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of OpenBinacle Group, Mr. Emmanuel Gabriel.

OBTranslate, a subsidiary of OpenBinacle Group, is a deep learning company that has developed an online computer assist tool, neural machine translation, and AI platform for over 2,000 African and European languages. It also aimed to bridge language barriers on the African continent and globally.

Prof. Abiodun Adebayo, in the statement said that the constructive partnership is a welcome development as the institution.

The VC added that the university’s departure philosophy and pillars are deeply rooted in Biblical principles and are directed towards effecting change in the recovery process of Nigeria’s education sector and the restoration of the dignity of the blackman.

“Research has been central to Covenant University’s twin missions of offering solutions to critical societal problems and being a leading global educational institution. These ambitions are intimately linked, and their innovations have benefited the country’s health, economy, and political processes and made Covenant increasingly prominent.

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“The University’s current feat as one of Africa’s leading research universities is made possible by its world-class faculty, staff, and postgraduate students who are immersed in innovative and cutting-edge research, including studies in bioinformatics, human genome research, cancer research, renewable energy, IOT-enabled smart and connected communities, biotechnology, as well as leadership, arts, humanities, social sciences, among others,” he said.

According to him, these research activities are coordinated under research clusters and centres of excellence superintendent by the university’s Centre for Research, Innovation, and Discovery

“The university is therefore excited by this partnership with OBTranslate and sees it as another opportunity for an impactful contribution towards expanding the frontier of knowledge in Africa.

As part of its goals, OBTranslate will enable ‘free text’ and document translation, speaker devices, smartphones, and humanoid robots to understand African and European languages.

On his part, Gabriel said the long-term mission of OBTranslate is to identify each of these languages and provide natural language processing that will sustain and preserve our languages from extinction.

According to him, the goal of automatic translation of free-text and documents from foreign languages into African languages (or between any two languages) is one of the oldest pursuits of AI research at OBTranslate.

Furthermore, he said, this collaboration is essential to OBTranslate AI research and the preservation of over 2,000 African languages spoken in all 55 countries in Africa.

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