AI speech models made in Europe

Whitepaper analyses need for research

24. Mai 2023, 7:00 Uhr | Tobias Schlichtmeier
The new whitepaper from the Learning Systems Platform analyzes the need for research on large-scale language models.
© Plattform Lernende Systeme

Big language models promise AI solutions for business and society. However, their results are often incomprehensible, flawed, or fraught with bias. Experts from the Learning Systems Platform believe that research in Germany is in a good starting position.

The precondition: a European ecosystem for large-scale language models and application-oriented research that facilitates transfer to industrial practice. A current white paper identifies research needs and options for action.

Language models are a key technology of artificial intelligence (AI). They recognize, produce, translate and process language and are at the core of diverse applications. They can assist in programming or customer service, for example, and make communication and knowledge processing in companies more efficient. Although German researchers are involved in the development of large-scale language models in many places, research and development in Germany should not lose out in this dynamic research field, which is strongly influenced by non-European players and large technology companies, the white paper »Large-scale language models – fundamentals, potentials and challenges for research« states.

»If we want to use language models for applications in and from Europe, we need European language models that can handle the languages here, take into account the needs of our companies and ethical requirements of our society. Currently, however, the language models are created – and controlled – by American and Chinese tech giants,« said Volker Tresp, professor of machine learning at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and head of the Technological Enablers and Data Science working group of the Learning Systems Platform.

Adapt models for different industries

Currently, there are only a few monolingual models based on exclusively German text data. Models that consider domain-specific language of sensitive application areas such as medicine and justice are also not common. In contrast, many significant multilingual models, such as GPT-4, are mostly not openly available for public research.

»Language models have enormous economic potential. However, for a large proportion of German companies, it is not profitable to build language models for use in their own operations. Unfortunately, however, no sufficiently powerful and commercially usable model currently exists for the German language. We therefore need openly accessible models – especially for the German language - as well as methods that allow them to be adapted cost-effectively to the specific requirements of different industries,« says Alexander Löser, founder and spokesman of the Data Science Research Center at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences and a member of the Technological Pioneers and Data Science working group.

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