Hellon teaches their AI to understand spoken Finnish

Hellon has secured a funding of almost half a million euro to teach their Artificial Intelligence AINO to understand and recognize what makes us happy – the technology is expected to revolutionize the customer services industry first in Finland and then around the world.

We have developed our own AINO artificial intelligence solution since 2016. With the funding from Business Finland, we will begin to develop a unique artificial intelligence technology for understanding speech, whose goal is to support large organizations to engage in better dialogue with their customers.

The Global giants of Artificial intelligence are not interested in small language regions

Global players in the intelligence field such as Google, Amazon and Baidu are currently focusing only on the world's largest markets, such as English, Chinese, or Spanish. At Hellon, we want to develop our technology specifically for those areas whose language is not among the 20 most spoken languages in the world. Market size will not be an issue for us, as more than 2 billion people still remain once we exclude the world's 20 most talked-about languages.

Taneli Tikka, Chairman of the Technology Industries of Finland´s AI Group, is convinced of our solution: "From the point of view of artificial intelligence development in Finland, it is strategically important to develop the understanding of artificial intelligence in Finnish, as the international big companies do not prioritize it. Hellon is a good example of a company that has seen the possibilities of artificial intelligence and has begun to build it in the context of its own business.

Artificial intelligence will affect and play a role with all companies in the future, regardless of the industry. Companies should realize that in many industries, artificial intelligence can exponentially increase opportunities in businesses."

Hellon is involved in developing Finland as the best place in the world to develop and utilize artificial intelligence

Hellon's funding is part of Business Finland's AI Business program, which was launched at the beginning of this year. The aim of the program is to raise Finland as the best place in the world to develop and utilize artificial intelligence. According to estimates, artificial intelligence and the platform industry account for 30 percent of Finland's gross domestic product in 2030. Business Finland is tasked with sharing the risk of developing radical innovations and opening doors to selling them on the global market.

AI Business Program Manager Outi Keski-Äijö sees the understanding of artificial intelligence in Finnish as a strategic priority, so that Finnish society and businesses won’t be left behind in using artificial intelligence. "According to our report, artificial intelligence that understands Finnish language is not developed by global artificial intelligence giants, instead we need to research and develop it with Finnish companies such as Hellon," says Outi Keski-Äijö.

One of the primary objectives is to learn to identify what makes us happy

Our goal is that the artificial intelligence learns by itself how to distinguish the key attributes of people in the spoken language, such as emotions, weightings, tone of voice, or the way we talk. "We are infinitely interested in what makes people happy," says Niko Reunanen, Hellon's leading data scientist. "With our AINO artificial intelligence, we have already found new ways to understand, model and even predict happiness and customer satisfaction.

Hellon already has an advanced deep-learning model that is able to analyze the human experience of the written text, and now the purpose is to extend the model to understand spoken language"

In the University of Helsinki, the leading brain researcher of the HUMEX research project funded by Business Finland, Katri Saarikivi, considers Hellon's project an interesting and welcome addition to the research field. "An increasing number of interactions happen in a computer-based way. However, in digital interaction, emotional information is very scarce. This, in turn, makes it difficult for others to understand and empathize, which among other things is key in customer service. Feelings are important signals. Through the information and knowledge of feelings we understand what is relevant to the others. "

With AINO, we have at our hand a unique project on a global scale. If our artificial intelligence manages to recognize the spoken language and experiences of a spoken speech in a rare language like Finnish, our solution can be scaled to any of the other world's languages.

We are also arguing that the solution will in the future be of significant help to, for example, global customer and telephone services or can could be used to even improve the functioning of emergency centres.

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