Microsoft partners with Royal Spanish Academy for language resources

Alex Smith
By Alex Smith on 21 December 2021
Microsoft partners with Royal Spanish Academy for language resources
Microsoft

The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) and Microsoft have signed an agreement to promote the correct use of Spanish online as part of the Spanish Language and Artificial Intelligence (LEIA) project.  

The RAE will provide Microsoft with access to the Diccionario de la lengua española or Dictionary of the Spanish Language – comprising of around 375,000 data sets – and its annual updates. This resource will be used in Microsoft 365 and its Office applications, the Bing search engine, embedded systems and other services aimed at improving spelling and grammar checking or creating translations.  

The data will also contribute to the training of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence applications, helping to avoid language biases and improve natural language processing skills. 

“We are proud to continue combining technological innovation with the protection and dissemination of the Spanish language,” said Alberto Granados, president of Microsoft Spain. “The resources and knowledge that the RAE is going to share with us will serve to improve the treatment of Spanish in our products, in addition to training our artificial intelligence in order to promote a correct and equal use that will go beyond the digital dimension.”  

The LEIA project was devised and led by the RAE with the support of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language to standardise the use of Spanish on machines and take advantage of AI to create tools that promote the correct use of Spanish. The initiative also aims to make Spanish available for technological products and services which have previously only been available in English. 

“The LEIA project has been conceived with one main objective: that the machines, and all the digital tools, use correct Spanish,” said Santiago Muñoz Machado, director of the RAE and president of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language. “In the 21st century, the Academy wants to regulate the language of machines, of artificial intelligence, to continue a work carried out successfully for more than 300 years. LEIA can be considered a pioneering project around the world.”

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