Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, March 24, 2020.

The Israel Innovation Authority on Wednesday announced NIS 30 million in funding for 17 new projects aimed at creating data and language models in Hebrew and Arabic.

The funding comes as part of the implementation of the National Artificial Intelligence Plan and the initiative to create research and development infrastructure and advanced capabilities in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) in spoken Hebrew and Arabic.


The initiate is intended to facilitate the leap in Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in Hebrew and Arabic, requiring natural language processing as part of the solution.

New solutions and applications in the field of artificial intelligence are emerging almost daily, the Authority noted, but the gap between existing capabilities for Hebrew and Arabic and more common languages (such as English) is significant.

To narrow the gap, a wide range of infrastructures are required for application developers dependent on language.

The current call for proposals has promoted infrastructure activity to implement natural language-based artificial intelligence technologies and called on researchers, developers, academia, and industry to rise to this challenge, the Authority said in a statement.

Funding for approved projects will provide infrastructures and data repositories in general and specific areas, enabling a wide range of tasks from academia and industry.

“In order to promote the integration of Artificial Intelligence into the Israeli high-tech industry and enable Israeli citizens to benefit from the fruits of this technology, we are keen to promote and advance activity in this area,” said Dror Bin, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority.

“This program is crucial for realizing Israel’s unique data potential in Hebrew and Arabic, facilitating the adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the industry, and advancing innovation in Israel. These infrastructures will lead to significant and open applications for the benefit of Israeli residents and enable companies developing products in this field to sell both domestically and internationally.”

Among the approved projects are those headed by Clalit Health Services, Tel Aviv University and Ichilov Hospital, Bar Ilan University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Reichman University and Briya (together with Assuta Ashdod Hospital, Galilee Medical Center, Sourasky Medical Center Tel Aviv and Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem).


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.