HomeTechSpain to create AI model in local languages for important national project

Spain to create AI model in local languages for important national project


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Spain is to create a significant foundational large language model, trained in Spanish as well as the country’s co-official languages as spoken in many of its autonomous communities.

The announcement came from Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, speaking ahead of the Mobile World Congress 2024, taking place in Barcelona from Monday 26 to Thursday 29 February. Sanchez confirmed the LLM would be transparent and open source.

A large language model (LLM) is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that utilizes learning techniques and extensive data sets to understand, summarize, generate, and prompt new content.  Generative AI is a term linked to LLMs, which can be described as a form of generative AI specifically designed to create text-based content.

Cross-sector collaboration

The likes of Google Gemini support more than 40 languages in an international context but at present, its advanced features are only available in English. This shows how the Spanish initiative will serve a local purpose, as well as aid national efforts to educate its citizens and workforce in the development of AI technology.

In addressing the English language dominance, the Spanish LLM project “seeks to provide an open, public, and accessible language infrastructure for companies, so that they can have a large-scale language model that facilitates services that allow them to develop advanced applications for their economic exploitation, such as intelligent assistants, conversational and dialogue systems or content generation models”.

To achieve the aims of the LLM, the Spanish government has enabled the formation of a cross-sector body comprising public and private entities such as the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the Spanish Supercomputing Network, the Spanish Academy of Language (RAE), and the Association of Spanish Language Academies.

The collaboration also has plans to take the program abroad to Spanish-speaking communities in the Americas.

It is hoped the proliferation of the Spanish language model will boost native and non-Spanish enterprises to develop their digital offerings and provide new services.

PM Sanchez touched on the importance of protecting rights and freedoms, in tandem with the growth and impact of generative AI. This was extended to considerations on the labor market and public policy, but the premier insisted Spain was ready to play its part in the international effort to embrace AI sustainably.

Image: Pixabay/Pexels.

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