The University of Iceland and Miðeind have been awarded a grant from the EU's Horizon research funding programme for a project creating a large AI language model for Germanic languages, including Icelandic.
The project is called TrustLLM and will be a collaboration between 11 partners from across Northern Europe, including Linköping University and AI Sweden in Sweden, the Fraunhofer Society in Germany, Alexandra Instituttet in Denmark, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and the Jülich Supercomputing Centre and the TNO Organisation in the Netherlands.
The total grant sum is EUR 7 million (just over ISK 1 billion), with around a fifth of that allocated to Miðeind and UI. The project was formally launched on 1 November and will last three years.
The objective of TrustLLM is to create a large language model (like the GPT models from OpenAI) that supports Germanic languages, especially the smaller Germanic languages. Partners will explore methods for achieving maximum functionality in each language, despite a limited amount of input data. Particular emphasis will be placed on the reliability of the output and minimising poor quality and undesirable responses. Applied mathematical methods will be developed to minimise the amount of energy needed to train and use the language model.
As well as our expertise in the field of language technology, the University of Iceland will be contributing a wealth of experience in the field of supercomputing, which is key to training large language models, through the National Competence Center for HPC & AI in Iceland.
"This Horizon grant will provide an invaluable boost to Icelandic language technology and AI in Icelandic. The grant is certainly very welcome in that sense, but just as important will be the partnerships we develop working with many of the leading technical experts and researchers in Europe in this fast-growing field. We look forward to the collaboration and have high hopes for the results," said Linda Heimisdóttir, COO of Miðeind.
"We at the University of Iceland are proud to participate in this important collaboration in the field of AI. Developing language models for smaller languages such as Icelandic is essential for the survival of the language and ensuring it can keep up with technology in a digital world. By taking part in the TrustLLM project, we are helping to protect the Icelandic language and develop technology that will benefit future generations. This project will also strengthen links between the University and leading companies and researchers in Europe, which will enhance the international status of the Icelandic language," said Hafsteinn Einarsson, lecturer in computer science at the University of Iceland, representing the University of Iceland on the project along with Morris Riedel, professor in the same subject.