The problem is compounded because many new computer devices are designed to recognize English but they do not understand Icelandic.
‘Not being able to speak Icelandic to voice-activated fridges, interactive robots and similar devices would be yet another lost field,’ Jonsson said.
Icelandic ranks among the weakest and least-supported language in terms of digital technology – along with Irish Gaelic, Latvian, Maltese and Lithuanian – according to a report by the Multilingual Europe Technology Alliance assessing 30 European languages.
Iceland’s Ministry of Education estimates about 1 billion Icelandic krona, or $8.8 million, is needed for seed funding for an open-access database to help tech developers adapt Icelandic as a language option.
This is all done by machine learning. Feed great vast gobs of stuff to the machines until they start to recognise it.
Languages which don’t have vast great gobs of stuff aren’t going to get recognised…..
I’ve heard that we’re seeing the same in machine translation. There needs to be a critical; mass of stuff in the language pair to be able to teach the machines.