28 September 2012

European Day of Languages

Yesterday, 26 September, the EU celebreated the European Day of Language. The importance of languages is recognised at political as well as practical level. The twitter of the Digital Agenda stated that "Language is key for the digital single market. 
Only 18 % of Internet users regularly buy on-line in another language than their native one"; or the tweet of Jochen Hummel, chairman of LT Innovate: "Vielsprachigkeit ist die grösste  Huerde der Digital Agenda; loesen wir sie, ist Europa fitter als jeder andere fuer den Weltmarkt" (Multilingualism is the biggest challenge of the Digital Agenda; when we are able to solve it, Europe will be more fit than anybody else for the global market). 

Visit our websites - CELAN and LT-Innovate to learn about how we can support your multilinguality.

26 September 2012

The Nordic Translation Industry Forum about the Translation Industry Trends

On 22-23 November, the Nordic Translation Industry Forum will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Organisers have gathered interesting speakers from the Nordic and Baltic region as well as from the EU.

Matthew Ogden from LEGO Systems together with Chris Rowley from TextMinded Danmark will talk about advanced collaboration on several levels between the two companies.
Felicia Negru, head of the External Translation Unit of the European Commission, one of the big players in the European translation market, will talk about outsourcing from an institutional perspective. 

Are you interested in following the translation industry trends in the Nordic and Baltic region? The early bird rate of 450 EUR is valid until 26 October.

24 September 2012

TAUS has lauched a common Translation Services API

TAUS, the translation innovation think tank and platform for shared industry services, has launched a common Translation Services API to be adopted by the industry. In today’s cloud environment, web APIs simplify the process of interacting with translation resources and services while also allowing a complex task to be broken down into several small and simple requests. Welocalize is sponsoring the development of a Validation to check the compliance of any implementation. 

The TAUS API is complementary to all standardization initiatives related to translation and localization. Rather than try and specify all possible use scenarios, the most simple and common scenarios are covered now, with the intention of building up the specifications following adoption. The API avoids the temptation to assume or prescribe the internal processes of adopting companies.

Results of the 8th International Conference on Semantic Systems

Early in September 2012, interesting applications of semantic technology were presented in Austria at the 8th International Conference on Semantic Systems.  With more than 400 participants every year I-SEMANTICS is one of the largest conferences in Europe in the field of semantic systems and the Semantic Web. The Proceedings abstracts suggest the many ways semantic technology can help you achieve your business goals.  From obtaining meaningful data from customer surveys to mining human movement in videos, the ideas presented are diverse and creative.

21 September 2012

playence joins LT-Innovate

playence is a provider of semantic annotation and search products for multimedia content. Its mission is to help organizations worldwide reduce the costs associated with annotating, locating and discovering their multimedia assets, ensuring availability and access across the organization.
Its software provides novel and innovative solutions to its clients. A recent technology forecast by Pricewaterhouse Coopers provides an overview of technologies playence is working with.

Vocapia joins LT-Innovate

Vocapia Research develops speech processing technologies for multilingual, large vocabulary speech recognition (speech-to-text), automatic audio segmentation, language identification and speaker recognition. 
The Vocapia Research VoxSigma software suite delivers state of the art performance for broadcast data and conversational speech in multiple languages.
This core technology can serve as the basis for a variety of applications ranging from interactive conversational systems to the automatic indexing of audio data.
For the latter class of applications, large vocabulary continuous speech recognition is the key technology for enabling content-based information access in audio and video documents. Most of the linguistic information is encoded in the audio channel of audiovisual data, which once transcribed can be accessed using text-based tools.

Alpineon joins LT-Innovate

Alpineon Research  Development, Ltd., is a high-tech enterprise that develops hardware and software solutions, particularly in the fields of ICT for automotive industries. Development is focused on speech technologies: speech recognition, speech synthesis and speech machine translation , with numerous voice-based products, such as voice portals or SMS readers and electronic mail available. 
Proteus TTS speech synthesizer automatically converts text to natural and intelligible speech. It is intended for personal or business use. Service providers and operators can incorporate automated voice solutions for access to information. Proteus TTS speech synthesizer is a welcome tool for groups of persons with special needs, such as the blind and visually impaired, mute and the elderly; it enables them to listen to electronic text in an audio format. 

20 September 2012

White paper: Europe must take action to prepare its languages for the digital age

Most European languages are unlikely to survive in the digital age, a new study by Europe’s leading Language Technology experts warns. Assessing the level of support through language technology for 30 of the approximately 80 European languages, the experts conclude that digital support for 21 of the 30 languages investigated is “non-existent” or “weak” at best. The study “Europe’s Languages in the Digital Age” was carried out by META-NET, a European network of excellence that consists of 60 research centres in 34 countries, working on the technological foundations of multilingual Europe.

Europe must take action to prepare its languages for the digital age. They are a precious component of our cultural heritage and, as such, they deserve future-proofing. The European Day of Languages on September 26 recognises the importance of fostering and developing the rich linguistic and cultural heritage of our continent. The META-NET study shows that, in the digital age, multilingual Europe and its linguistic heritage are facing challenges but also many possibilities and opportunities.

The study, prepared by more than 200 experts, is documented in 30 volumes of the META-NET White Paper Series

A recent study by The Economist reveals the importance of languages for businesses.

A recent study by The Economist "Competing across borders: how cultural and communication barriers affect business" reveals the importance of languages for businesses. Two-thirds of respondents say that differences in language and culture make it difficult to gain a foothold in unfamiliar markets.

Some 47% say their companies do not offer enough training to hone their employees’ language and communication skills, and 40% believe there is not enough emphasis placed on recruiting or selecting people who are suited to cross-cultural environments. Misunderstandings rooted in cultural differences present the greatest obstacle to productive cross-border collaboration

Interestingly, linguistic diversity – or the lack of it – is considered by some margin to be a greater business challenge in Latin America and southern Europe than elsewhere. For example, 38% of those surveyed in Brazil and 40% in Spain believe the difficulty in communicating in non-native languages to be a significant hindrance to effective cross-border relations.

11 September 2012

LT-Innovate Workshop, 8-9 October 2012, Brussels

On 8-9 October 2012, LT-Innovate organizes a two-day workshop at Hotel "Le Méridien" in Brussels, Belgium. After the successful Summit in June, LT-Innovate pursues its proactive agenda aiming at strengthening and catalising the European Language Technology sector. The workshop will address four topics:

  • Responding to upcoming EU calls for projects (ICT Call 10, SME Initiative on Analytics Call)
  • Developing a collective vision statement towards achieving excellence in LT
  • Facilitating the interaction between LT suppliers and buyers / markets through Buyer Focus Groups
  • Incorporating LT-Innovate and strengthening its service capability
Please register for this event before 18 September.

10 September 2012

Feedback needed for the META-NET Strategic Research Agenda for Multilingual Europe 2020

The Strategic Research Agenda for Multilingual Europe 2020 (SRA)developed by META-NET is the result of discussions between hundreds of experts from research and industry. Its main purpose is to raise awareness for the field of Language Technology in Europe and attract the attention of and inform politicians and policy makers on the regional, national and international level in their decisions, especially with regard to the upcoming European funding opportunities "Horizon 2020" and "Connecting Europe Facility".

META-NET seeks your comments and statements on the draft SRA by 15 September 15 2012. Please send your feedback to georg.rehm@meta-net.eu (with the subject "META-NET SRA: feedback"). META-NET is especially looking for:

- Your opinion on the SRA draft and if it meets the needs outlined above.
- Quotes from research and especially industry representatives.
- Interesting data, convincing figures or numbers for certain market areas that might be a good fit for the SRA.
- Your opinion on the idea of setting up a European service platform for Language Technologies. (Chapter 6)

To download the SRA draft, click here.

UK makes e-infrastructure investment for higher education and better competitivity

UK researchers' and educators' demands for high performance computing are now reportedly secured until at least 2022, thanks to an initial £30 million e-infrastructure investment from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the higher and further education funding councils. 

The investment will build Janet6, the next generation of the UK's national research and education network, adding value across the sector from high-end research to universities, colleges and schools. It will also enable research to stay competitive on both a national and international level, and support the £60 billion contribution that higher education brings to the UK economy.

06 September 2012

Where Will Semantic Tech Be Better Commercialized - USA or Europe?

Where is semantic technology better poised to be better commercialized – the U.S. or Europe? At the last SemTech conference in San Francisco, 3RoundStones took first place in the Startup competition with Callimachus Enterprise. During a discussion of some of the product’s winning features, talk turned to some of the differences between how semantic technology has progressed in the States and overseas:

3RoundStones CTO David Wood
“I finally see the difference between Europe and the U.S.” “...The work done in R&D there (the UE) was very important and the large government projects were very impressive,” “In the U.S. we don’t spend a lot of money in top-down, federally funded R&D, and not in big central government data projects.” But what is here is a commercially-focused culture, and now large enterprises based here, seeing big vendors like IBM and Oracle talking up semantics, are buying into the idea of semantic tech in a bigger way. “...our projects, because they are economic in nature, are more sustainable.”

Antonia Bradford of the U.K.’s AB Computing
“There has been a lot of EU funding for semantic web projects and for semantic technology projects in general. There’s been funding at the government level and support in the university, but it does need to move out – it will never get anywhere if it stays in university labs,…or continues to receive government funding,” Bradford notes. 

Martin Bradford, primary developer at AB Computing
“The American model needs to take over and turn it into something that makes money for people.”

05 September 2012

Call for paper: where are our weak points and what do we need?

How are the multiple and standard approaches employed by translators to tackle their two-fold task of internalising and then restoring meaning undertaken, taught and learnt? Where do technological processes fit into this nowadays? What do they contribute? How are we trying to create and improve such processes? How do these processes work to uncover meaning? What do they need to achieve this? Can machines really imitate humans, or do they take a different approach altogether? What is the aim and what is the outcome? Are digital corpora in their current form sufficient, or do they need to be pre-processed? 

The second Tralogy conference, organised jointly by the CNRS (IMMI and INIST), the SFT, the European Commission (DGT, EC Representation in France), Paris Diderot University (UFR EILA) and AFFUMT, intends to explore and debate these questions. Its aim is to create a dialogue, and Tralogy will take the above-mentioned multi-pronged approach to meaning as a starting point for discussions of these issues between specialists from different disciplines working at the very points where all of these issues and interests converge (translation, translator training, the language industry, automatic language processing, etc.), with the active participation of those directly concerned: language professionals, researchers, teachers, students, etc. 

Dates and venue of the Conference: January 17-18, 2013 - CNRS Headquarters Auditorium, Paris (France)

Semantic Technology’s Role in Big Data Solutions?

Forbes has published an article that points out an opportunity for Semantic Technology companies. The article discusses the lack of understanding in companies around big data. The author, , concludes:

"Ready or not, the IT department can expect the business units to come back begging for help, just as they did in the 1990s. And even before business users start crawling back, I can imagine the red faces of all those IT executives that worked so hard in the last five years or so on establishing a “data governance” model for their companies and putting together master data management policies. The Garner analysts warned their listeners that big data “could break existing governance models.” This is similar to what Forrester analyst Boris Evelson wrote earlier this month: “You may find that all of your best DW, BI, MDM practices for SDLC, PMO and Governance aren’t directly applicable to or just don’t work for Big Data. This is where the real challenge of Big Data currently lies. I personally have not seen a good example of best practices around managing and governing Big Data. If you have one, I’d love to see it!”"

Semafora takes over Ontoprise GmbH Semantic product line

Following the news in May that German company Ontoprise GmbH filed for bankruptcy, Semafora Systems GmbH has now announced that it will be taking over Ontoprise’s product divisions. These include Service Resolution Management (SemanticGuide), Content Discovery (SemanticMiner & SemanticXpress), Semantics for SharePoint (SemanticWiki & SemanticMiner), SemanticWeb Technologies (OntoBroker, OntoStudioSemanticGuide). The base of the semafora systems solutions are the tried and tested products OntoBroker and OntoStudio, which are responsible for the central tasks of modeling and knowledge processing.

Financed by Triangle Venture Capital Group, semafora is promising a “seamless takeover and continuation of the business.” The transition also means that the base of operations for these products has moved from Karlsruhe to Darmstadt.