AI boosts te reo Māori integration on NZ’s leading digital news platform

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AUCKLAND, Yesterday: The Stuff Group, alongside Te Puna, Straker, and Microsoft, are shaking things up with more te reo Māori content. Their pilot program is a game-changer for promoting the language on Stuff’s platforms.

By marrying human translators with AI technology, they’re scaling up without compromising quality. Everything gets a human check before going live, ensuring top-notch translations.

Stuff’s Carmen Parahi shares, “Bilingual articles aren’t new at Stuff, we’ve been producing them for years. But this is the first time we will be using AI to translate even more articles at scale, which will be quality-checked by a human translator and our editorial team before being published.”

Stuff has been ramping up its te reo content, introducing bilingual titles and stories with support from Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori and NZ On Air Irirangi Te Motu. The goal? More te reo Māori every day, despite the challenges of translating fast-moving news.

Parahi emphasises, “We’ve made it very clear we support the revitalisation of te reo Māori, a taonga and official language of New Zealand. Our journey started with introducing macrons on Māori words, and continues with our ability to now scale our te reo Māori capability with AI. It’s integral to our Pou Tiaki fair representation strategy, and commitments we made in our company charter.”

“This is the first time we will be using AI to translate even more articles at scale.”

Laura Maxwell of Stuff and Grant Straker are thrilled with the collaboration. “We’re pleased to be working with Straker and Microsoft on developing the te reo Māori translation tool,” says Maxwell.

Grant Straker reflects on his own experiences, “When I was going to school as a young Māori in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, te reo Māori was not spoken or taught in schools, and actively discouraged in general.

“After 20 years of building a global translation technology company, this is an especially personal career highlight. It means that today’s generation of Māori and everyone that comes after will be able to engage with regular news content in their own language.”

Vanessa Sorenson from Microsoft adds a visionary touch, “Artificial intelligence is the talk of almost every organisation these days, but it’s not about how technology can do more than humans.

“It’s about how this technology can do more with humans, for humans, and for the things that are important to us. We’re delighted to be working with two truly visionary local organisations to show how technology can be a real enabler for Aotearoa society and culture.”

Find Stuff’s bilingual content here

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