AI for Papiamentu
Language Generation

Towards creating an artificial intelligence
that is able to read, understand and write Papiamentu.

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About Kon ta bAI

CGI Image of person working on a laptop on a beach.

Using Artificial Intelligence for Papiamentu language generation

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come incredibly far in recent years. Nowadays there are all kinds of AI, from the ones that can recognize human faces to the one who beat the human world champion in the game of Go. There is also AI that can produce language. In June 2020 the American company OpenAI released an AI that can generate high quality text in English. The AI known as GPT-3 can produce new English text because it has learned from all kinds of texts available on the entire internet. To give another example, researchers in Zambia created an AI that can translate the language Bemba automatically.

Inspired by these developments our project idea for the generation of Papiamentu text was born. The project has one main goal: to create an artificial intelligence that is able to read, understand and write Papiamentu.

The project is called “Kon ta bAI”, which is Papiamentu for “How are you?”. Here we integrated the abbreviation “AI” in the word “bai” because the goal is to get an AI to ask us, “Kon ta bai?” (“How are you?”).

Community-based Project

Even though the project has a technical nature, components of the project will require community collaboration and input. With this project we implement our vision of the digital future of Papiamentu and we know it will have a lasting effect on Papiamentu speaking communities:



Educating on the topic of AI is extremely beneficial and can result in all kinds of new opportunities and jobs to help boost the economy on the island while making job seekers more self-reliant. Also we foresee the interest and involvement of students who are interested in AI.



To see the Papiamentu language from a completely different perspective



The combination of state of the art technology with the culture of a creole language and their communities in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao


New forms of art

Collaboration with local artists to produce visual and auditory aspects for the art work.



To create a novel language model that can understand Papiamentu.

How can I work together with you?

Building a good AI takes many people and data. We are always excited about new ideas and partnerships. If you want to learn about collaboration opportunities please send us an email.

What is Papiamentu

Papiamentu (Curacao and Bonaire) or Papiamento (Aruba) is a creole language with strong influence from Portuguese and Spanish. It is estimated that in total there are about 350.000 native speakers of Papiamentu in the world.

What is AI

The type of AI that is used in the project is called Deep Learning. It is inspired by how our human brains work. This means the AI can learn the structure of the information that we give it. For example, if we give the AI images of faces, it will learn to recognize faces. In a similar way we can teach the AI the structure of a language by letting it read text in that language. The more information the AI can read, the better it will learn.


Frequently Asked Questions

In real life AI is very different from in the movies. The danger is not that the AI will suddenly develop a mind of its own and go rogue, no. The danger lies in what we as humans decide to do with the AI. In real life AI does very boring things, like tell you where to go on google maps, or show you advertisements.

It depends on your job and where you live.

No, the AI can only do what we tell it to do. It cannot think for itself. An AI is a lot like a parrot, maybe it can say words that we can understand very well, but it cannot think like we humans can.

The AI is not alive. To be alive you need a body that can do the processes required to keep itself alive. An AI is in a computer, but the computer is not alive.

We are creating an AI that can write and to some extent understand Papiamentu. We call this a “language model” because the AI learns a model of a language. Basically you can think about it as a mathematical object that contains information. In this case it contains all kinds of information about Papiamentu.

A language model can do many language tasks like question answering, language completion, translation, text classification, summarization and much more.

We can create all kinds of texts in Papiamentu! We can use a language model to help us write stories, news articles, ask questions, poetry and even chat with it. People have been using the english one to create art (see spirit machine), help them create new text, write articles, create chatbots. Imagine a chatbot in Papiamentu!

We want to first make the model as a way of digitising and immortalising Papiamentu as a language. We want to democratise AI technology by making it accessible to the Papiamentu speaking community. We want to have the Papiamentu speaking community interacting with it to learn what the community thinks of it and what they want to do with it.

By educating people about AI and by involving many people in the creation of our AI we create an open and transparent environment.

Building a good AI takes many people and data. We are always excited about new ideas and partnerships. If you want to learn about collaboration opportunities please send us an email at

Our Team

Gabi Ras

AI Researcher

Erkan Basar

Linguistic AI Researcher

Tim Martina

Engineer Consultant
Photo of Marelva Mathilda

Marelva Mathilda

Papiamentu Language Teacher

Joeri Oltheten

Community manager

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