Baidu Launches AI Sign Language Platform

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Baidu AI Cloud, a leading AI cloud provider, launched an AI sign language platform to generate digital avatars for sign language translation and live interpretation within minutes.

Released as a new offering of Baidu AI Cloud’s digital avatar platform XiLing, this platform aims to help break down communication barriers for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) community by boosting the accessibility of automated sign language translation.

An AI sign language interpreter developed using the platform will perform its duties during the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics Games.

Also released along with the platform are two all-in-one AI sign language translators, providing one-stop solutions with a streamlined set-up process and plug-and-use features. By enabling public service deployment in scale, the translators have been designed for various use scenarios such as hospitals, banks, airports, bus stations and other public areas.

With the technology enablement brought by AI, the production and operational costs of digital avatars have been reduced significantly, making it possible for AI sign language to go to scale and serve more deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, said Tian Wu, Baidu Corporate Vice President.

Today, China is home to 27.8 million deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) individuals but is faced with a massive shortage of qualified professionals to serve their needs, with no more than 10,000 sign language translators, a gap especially felt in medical and legal settings.

The XiLing AI sign language platform and the all-in-one sign language translators are designed to fill this significant gap and address the communication difficulties facing the DHH community in both online and offline settings.

For DHH individuals who want to study or socialise online without barriers, the platform can be quickly integrated into commonly used mobile applications, websites, and mini-programs within a few hours, performing functions like sign language video synthesis and livestream synthesis, text-to-sign language translation, and audio-to-sign language translations.