The Basque Regional Government has received an award for its work in the field of artificial intelligence

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The Spanish employers' association for the digital technology industry (AMETIC) has awarded the Basque Regional Government for its promotion of initiatives such as the Itzuli neural machine translator. This award recognises the high quality of its machine translations and the new applications that have been developed since the launch of Itzuli one-and-a-half years ago.

The Spanish employers' association for the digital technology industry (AMETIC) has recognised the work of the Basque Regional Government in the field of artificial intelligence. During the sector summit held this evening in Madrid, attended by the country’s most important companies and stakeholders in the field, the Itzuli neural machine translator was recognised as an example of the Basque Regional Government’s excellent work in the field of artificial intelligence. The trajectory, impact and usefulness of this project in a range of areas were key to it winning the award.

Promoted by the Basque Regional Government’s Information and Communication Techologies Directorate, Itzuli was launched around one-and-a-half years ago. Since then, it has become a high-quality and widely-used automatic translation tool. Despite being a new project, it has already made a significant impact on the population. Proof of this lies in the fact that it has thousands of daily users and has been used millions of times. The tool has progressively evolved over the last 18 months with the emergence of new applications, becoming a widely-used application in the fields of education, healthcare and the service and financial industries. It performs more than 200,000 translations every day, despite the fact that barely two million people live in the Basque Country.

Itzuli translates in the languages of Basque and Spanish, and occasionally in French and English. Over a short space of time, the tool has reached the standard and quality of professional native translators in the world’s most widely-spoken languages. Despite having a solid reputation and being used by large numbers of citizens, the tool remains free-to-use. For a few months, it has also been possible to use the tool from its mobile app. Itzuli can also carry out transcriptions and speech synthesis processes, all of which are founded on artificial intelligence.

Oskar Guadilla, representative of the Basque Regional Government’s IT Society (EJIE), collected the award in an event held in Madrid this evening. The EJIE helps to digitise services provided to citizens by the Basque public sector, with Itzuli being its latest success story. It endeavours to offer intelligent tools to citizens, as is the case with this neural machine translator. Guadilla stated that this award “reaffirms the Basque Regional Government’s commitment to artificial intelligence and the creation and provision of smart tools and services for its citizens”.

AMETIC brings together leading companies in the field of digital transformation in the areas of telecommunications, electronics and digital content and services. The AMETIC Artificial Intelligence Awards Ceremony took place as part of the industry’s annual summit, the AIAMSummit21. The opening speech was given by the Second Vice-President of the Spanish Government, Nadia Calviño.