Hamburg's urban website scoops award for AI-based easy language

Germany's Ministry of Labour honours portal in simple language for more inclusion - around 10 million people benefit from easy language
14 June 2023
Verschiedene Buchstaben auf Holzplättchen

A Hamburg-based concept for easy language won the Civic Innovation Platform (CIP) ideas competition at the recently ended re:publica in Berlin, a press release said Wednesday (June 7, 2023). The City of Hamburg had teamed up with the start-up Summ AI to provide texts in simple language for the urban website and to reach people with cognitive impairments or little knowledge of the German language. Content can be translated into simple language and the tool also suggests matching images for the texts.

Hamburg' city portal pushing ahead with AI tool

The Senate Press Office is overseeing a pilot test of the AI programme launched last August. Online editors in authorities all over Hamburg can use the tool to publish announcements on the website in a low-threshold, swift and cost-effective manner. The texts created in plain language are marked accordingly. Summ AI is adapting the tool to the needs of reporting and should lead to more inclusion through expanded content. Texts from translation agencies will continue to be published.

Easy language important for 10 million people 

Easy language is characterised by comprehensibility and was developed with people who have learning difficulties. It follows a fixed set of rules to reach people with cognitive impairments, dementia, little knowledge of the German language and the illiterate. Around 10 million people in Germany benefit from information in simple language. CIP is the Digital Working Society Think Tank of the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and honoured 27 projects during re:publica. The competition focused on ideas that embed AI in society, based on collaborative development and implementation.