Chatbot learning reo for better feedback

Otago Science

Tuwhenuaroa Natanahira

Punahamoa Walker Selection Selection Selection

Role funding: pijf-0032

A Maori artificial intelligence engineer is trying to create chatbots that can better interact with Maori.

Frankly, AI technical lead Punahamoa Walker of Whakatōhea says public comment tends to focus on middle-aged pākeha whakarō.

He says Frankly AI chatbots will have the ability to te reo Māori, allowing them to reach communities that otherwise would not have their voices heard.

“Giving people so many opportunities to speak in a way that feels natural to them is really how you understand what the issues are. If we were doing a public consultation on a road project, for example, it’s not because people don’t engage that they don’t have strong opinions. We need to make engagement as easy as possible and Maori have very strong opinions about what is happening in the country around them” , says Walker.

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