The University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC) is one of the three regional institutions in the country to receive funding support from the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST–PCIEERD).
Dubbed “Mindanao Natural (MinNa) Language Processing (LProc) Research and Development Laboratory”, the UIC R&D laboratory will be established through the DOST–PCIEERD’s Institution Development Program (IDP). The project aims to use Natural Language Processing in preservation and protection of languages and will focus on three Mindanao languages: Manobo, Mansaka, and Kalagan. The project leader, Kristine Mae M. Adlaon, shared that ‘Natural Language Processing’ is a subfield of Artificial Intelligence that focuses on building intelligent systems that understand languages.
On 23 September 2021, UIC President Sr. Marissa R. Viri, RVM signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DOST–PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit. It was stated in the MOA that DOST-PCIEERD shall provide grant in the amount of P5,000,000.00 for 24 months with an initial grant of P5,000,000.00 to be expended based on the scheduled release of funds and as allocated in the approved Project Line-Item Budget.
Sr. Viri said “With the increasing number of endangered languages, it is the goal of this laboratory to intensify research and development works that involve the collection, digitalization, storage, and dissemination of language resources, as well as the development of task-specific trained applications such as Machine Translation and Dialogue Systems.” She also shared, “UIC through MinNa commits to support all endeavors that will help save and preserve our endangered languages. We hope that through MinNa, more students, faculties, and industry partners will be collaborating to achieve the objectives set forth by the laboratory.”
Speaking for DOST–PCIEERD, Dr. Paringit explained that the IDP has been working towards establishing at least one IDP per region. He added, “On the regional Research Institution, we have been supporting our country’s regions through our regional consortia. We deem it highly vital that every region here in the Philippines should be heard and visible in creating more opportunities and making progress more inclusive.”
UCO | Eric Jude E. Recentes