Need for Kazakh AI

Kazakhstan is a truly multi-lingual nation with 117 spoken languages, but while the majority of its 19 million population speak Kazakh, the increasingly important technology of artificial intelligence (AI) has not supported the language until now.

Today, all types of human-machine interaction rely on AI to automate understanding and enhance the experience of technology users. No where is this more so than in telecoms where customers need support across entertainment, banking and self-service applications in their preferred lanuguage.

VEON’s digital operator in the country, Beeline Kazakhstan, has been at the forefront of developing AI linguistic models to support the Kazakh language and  making the technology available to all software developers for free. Kaz-RoBERTA-conversational, or BeeBERT for short, is a generative AI technology that will support the customer experience on Beeline’s digital applications, and enable the further development of artificial intelligence-based solutions in Kazakh language.  

BeeBERT is currently being deployed to enhance customer care on Beeline Kazakhstan’s popular digital applications that include BeeTV, one of the largest OTT entertainment platform in Kazakhstan, hitter, Beeline’s  local music app, and Simply, the nation’s first neobank.  The AI module automatically understands the needs and problems of customers and provide solutions where possible, or escalate to a call centre when needed.  BeeBERT will also be used on the website, in the My Beeline application, and to support messaging on other popular instant messaging applications.

“Our digital services are seeing a rapid uptake in Kazakhstan across entertainment and financial services, and BeeBERT has the potential to massively improve the consumer experience while supporting the use of our native Kazakh language,” explains Evgeniy Nastradin, CEO of Beeline Kazakhstan. “Innovation is at the core of Beeline Kazakhstan’s success and the development of BeeBERT underlines not only our technological know-how, but also our dedication to use technology to advance local development.”

Beeline Kazakhstan has made BeeBERT available to all under an open source Apache licence to encourage its wider adoption.  The AI module is available for download and with its small size, it can be embedded in desktop and mobile applications where Kazakh language comprehension is required.  The AI module has already demonstrated an increase in the quality of recognition of customer requests.

“We hope that our example will encourage other companies and teams to publish their developments for closer cooperation that advances the usage of technologies in Kazakh language,” says Bexultan Sagyndyk, one of the BeeBERT developers.

BeeBERT has been created by Beeline Kazakhstan’s developers using a Google core neural network.  The team behind BeeBERT is now developing next generation generative language models to be trained in the local language, generating responses that take into account the context of the correspondence with the user.

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