- The Government of Catalonia and the GSMA association sign a memorandum of understanding to jointly promote the equal treatment of Catalan and other languages in the digital world through the AINA project
event_note Press Release
The Generalitat de Catalunya and the GSMA association, the organising entity behind MWC Barcelona representing mobile operators and adjacent industries, have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) through which both entities undertake to collaborate in jointly promoting the Catalan language in the global technological and digital sphere through the AINA project.
Minister Torrent stated that “today’s agreement, the result of months of collaboration between GSMA and the Secretariat of Digital Policies, is a very important step forward for the future of Catalan. One of the priorities of our Government is to defend the use of Catalan, and this, in the present and in the immediate future, means helping our language to be present in the digital dimension, in the use of technologies that are increasingly pervasive in our lives”.
“We are very proud to support the AINA project through the excellent work of the GSMA Foundry,” said Hoffman. “This agreement is an excellent framework for collaboration that can promote and preserve the historic Catalan language in the digital world. We hope to continue collaborating with Minister Torrent’s office and Secretary Tost as the project grows”.
Birth of the AINA Alliance
The purpose of the memorandum signed today is to form the core of an ‘AINA Alliance’ for the development of the AINA project, with the aim of sharing the benefits, with both the public and private sectors, for the digital preservation of language and culture. Promoted by the Government in collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), AINA is a project based on data and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies aimed at providing Catalan with the digital and linguistic resources necessary to make it a competitive language in the digital world and thus ensure its future survival.
Thus, as part of this initiative, the Government and GSMA will collaborate to openly promote the activities and tools developed by the AINA project globally; raise awareness of the benefits generated by the use of these techniques for digital citizens; and share experiences and lessons regarding efforts for the digital preservation of language and culture.
The ‘AINA Alliance’, which is open to the inclusion of other languages from all over the world, ultimately aims to enable speakers of languages that, like Catalan, are at a distinct disadvantage compared to global languages, to fully participate in the digital world at the same level as speakers of global languages. Given that, as the world becomes increasingly digital and driven by artificial intelligence (AI), speakers of global languages can fully enjoy the benefits offered by AI language-based tools and models and become even more dominant in the digital space, this initiative was born to help prevent speakers of other languages from being excluded from these benefits and, at the same time, ensure their inalienable right to use these languages both in private and public life.
The origin of the AINA Alliance
The memorandum signed today is the result of discussions initiated by the Government and GSMA in February of this year, in a meeting which took place prior to MWC 2023, in which Minister Torrent presented to GSMA executives the priority projects promoted by the Generalitat in the field of digital policies, such as the AINA project to enable machines to understand and speak Catalan.