Photo of Kathleen Siminyu

Artificial intelligence & robotics

Kathleen Siminyu

Created nine open-source African-language data.

Year Honored

Mozilla Foundation


Hails From

Advances in speech and language technologies have led to tools like voice-enabled search, text-to-speech apps, speech recognition, and machine translation, but such tools only work for the languages they’ve been trained to recognizetypically English, French, or Chinese. For many other languages, including ones spoken by millions of Africans, they remain out of reach. Kathleen Siminyu, 28, wants to change that. She launched a fellowship program through which contributors created nine open-source African-language data sets annotated for a variety of machine-learning tasks. She sees “a possible future where all the information readily available on the internet is equally accessible in African languages as it is in English.”