Software Campus graduate Tim Polzehl launches language assistant for refugees

Capiche is a translation and search service based on artificial intelligence (AI) and crowd wisdom and is supposed to lastingly improve communication of and with refugees in Europe. The first application with Capiche was developed in cooperation with the refugee information portal and presented on December 11, 2017, at the EIT Digital Innovation Day in Berlin. It is the first AI system on the market to include crowdsourcing and use the subsequent data for its training. Capiche is a spin-off of the innovation project European Refugee Information and Communication Service (ERICS) by EIT Digital and was developed together with the EIT’s digital partners TU Berlin, T-Systems Multimedia Solutions GmbH, DFKI, Aalto University as well as Crowdee GmbH, co-founded by Dr. Tim Polzehl.entwickelt.

With a growing number of refugees, the number of those in Europe who struggle in their day-to-day lives because they lack language skills, for instance when it comes to understanding websites and information brochures or communicating with authorities, is also increasing. Contacting the senders directly is seldom possible, since national operators of websites, online journals and public administrative offices usually do not engage in direct communication if they do not understand, for instance, Arabic. Consequently, a lack of language skills results in loss of information, unanswered questions and slow integration.

editorial teams to offer their information to users in non-customary languages as well. Over an interface in the content management system, the content is sent to the AI system and the crowd via a cloud-based micro-service, with whose help it is translated and sent back in the desired language. That way, Capiche helps to eliminate language barriers and promote integration. In the next upgrade level, Capiche will be available as multilingual real-time communication in all-important EU and refugee languages, including extremists and fake news filter. In the future, it will also be possible for users to pose a question directly to an information portal, in their respective national language, and quickly and uncomplicatedly receive an answer in their language, due to the combination of artificial intelligence and human crowd intelligence.

Capiche’s decisive advantages and fields of application from which refugees benefit are among many others:

  • Real-time translation service: German, English, Arabic, Persian and more languages as of 2018
  • Fake news check and extremists filter
  • Translation and question-answer function within chat and chatbot systems (in 2018)
  • Inquiries to location information as well as public institutions can be sent to the chatbot system in foreign languages

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