San Jose Tests AI Translation Tool to Improve Access to Public Meetings

More than half of the city’s population speaks a language other than English at home, making translation services a key pillar of accessibility.

1 minute read

May 22, 2024, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Glass dome at front of modern San Jose City Hall building in San Jose, California.

San Jose City Hall in San Jose, California. | Galina Barskaya / Adobe Stock

The city of San Jose is considering expanding the use of an artificial intelligence tool that is making City Council meetings more accessible to non-native English speakers, reports Julia Edinger in GovTech.

“The tool was unveiled and first used at the April 16 council meeting; it provides real-time AI transcription in more than 50 languages.” This provides a valuable service in a city like San Jose, where 57 percent of the population speaks something other than English at home. Now, the city is collecting public feedback about the service as it evaluates other potential uses, primarily other community meetings.

San Jose leads a nationwide coalition of municipal agencies that “ aims to lead responsible adoption of AI governance and use.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in GovTech

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