Project abbreviation: Mycroft.eus
Project name: Mycroft.eus, the open source Basque smart speaker
Project coordinator: Igor Leturia
Project consortium: Elhuyar, Talaios, Skura
Funding: ELG (European Language Grid) Pilot Projects Open Call 1
Project duration: 1 year (August 2020-July 2021)
Main key words: smart speaker, Basque, Mycroft, ASR, TTS
Goal of the project: to build a smart speaker in Basque
Project abstract: The speech-driven virtual assistant devices known as smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are being increasingly used. But these commercial products come in just over a handful of languages. Not all official languages of the EU, let alone minority languages, are present in them.
In the Mycroft.eus project, we developed an open source smart speaker that works in Basque language. It is based on the open source Mycroft voice assistant (https://mycroft.ai/), and it makes use of Elhuyar’s Basque speech synthesis and recognition technology. We added new local and Basque language skills: news from media in Basque, language queries (dictionaries, translations...), listening to local bands, etc. We also improved the ASR system to perform better in noisy environments, and developed a better Basque TTS system based in neural networks.
We believe the work carried out will be of use for other languages that have speech technologies and are underrepresented in smart speakers.