The San Jose City Clerk’s office, led by Toni Taber, has launched a new initiative to use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve language accessibility at City Council meetings.

The Clerk’s Office has soft-launched the Wordly AI translation platform, which uses time AI transcription capabilities to provide immediate translation and captions to mobile phones, computers, and video displays.

“San José is a city of innovators, and our government should be too – we’re continuing to test new tools that allow us to serve the public more effectively, efficiently, and equitably,” said Mayor Matt Mahan. “I want to thank the Clerk for championing an AI solution offering real-time language translations of City Council meetings for our residents.”

The city said that Wordly will enable residents to understand and participate in city governance in their native language, adding that the solution also enables community members who prefer reading captions to actively participate in meetings. The city explained that community members must bring their own devices and earphones to be able to listen to or read the words on their device screen.

“We are excited about the future of AI and its integration in our accessibility initiative for improving language access in government,” said Taber. “As cities become more diverse, the need for innovations in communication will only continue to grow. The City of San José hopes to inspire other large cities to adopt similar technologies that provide equitable access to information and foster a more inclusive environment.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs