Common Voice: African Languages

Common Voice: African Languages


Mozilla Fellows are activists, open-source researchers, engineers, and technology policy experts who work on the front lines of that movement. Fellows develop new thinking on how to address emerging threats and challenges facing a healthy internet.

As part of Mozilla's Common Voice Project, four fellows from Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania have been selected as leaders in the open voice technology space that are embedded in our focus communities. These fellows have led the growth of the platform, connected the project to diverse stakeholders and championed the value of having more investment in African Languages.

Britone Mwasaru will be working on voice technology with a focus on the Kiswahili language in order to address the exclusion of those whose first or preferred language is Kiswahili. Before joining Mozilla, Britone was Director of Technology at Swahilipot Hub where he led use and adoption of technology in the technology and arts community in Mombasa and Coast region of Kenya.

Kathleen Siminyu is an AI Researcher who has focused on Natural Language Processing for African Languages. She will be joining Mozilla Foundation as a Machine Learning Fellow to support the development of a Kiswahili Common Voice dataset and to build speech transcription models for end use cases in the agricultural and financial domains. In her NLP research, Kathleen has previously worked on speech transcription for Luhya languages and contributed to machine translation for Kenyan languages as part of Masakhane. Before joining Mozilla, Kathleen was Regional Coordinator of AI4D Africa, where she worked with ML and AI communities in Africa to run various programs.

Rebecca Ryakitimbo will be working on establishing and supporting diverse Kiswahili language and tech communities along axes of gender, age, regional origin, accent and vernacular usage towards building an open voice dataset in Kiswahili. She will work to ensure that the dataset accurately represents the Kiswahili population with the goal of encouraging adoption and implementation of voice technology. Before joining Mozilla, Rebecca has been an Internet Society fellow, an Afrisig fellow, a Google Policy fellow, a national geographic explorer and a digital rights program officer at Paradigm Initiative.

Remy Muhire

Remy Muhire is an experienced community manager with an extensive background in software development. Remy is leading partnership development for early-stage voice data collection, advising the creation of open datasets in multiple languages and guiding the development of local products and use cases relevant to sustainable development goals.

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