31 January 2013

Juvenes Translatores, or the potential future European Commission's translators

Congratulations to the 27 winners of Juvenes Translatores, the European Commission's annual EU Young Translators contest!

Over 3000 pupils from 750 secondary schools sat the contest in November 2012. The contestants translated a one-page text based on their choice of any of the 506 language combinations possible among the EU’s 23 official languages. The Commission's translators marked the texts.

The winners – one per EU country – will be invited to an award ceremony in Brussels on April 11, 2013 to receive their prizes from Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and will also have the chance to see the Commission's translators at work.

“The contest is an excellent way to promote language learning and translation as a possible career. Language skills are a fantastic asset: they broaden the mind and can boost employability, something which is especially important in the current economic environment," said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

The contest has also created its own network, enabling students, teachers and professionals to interact through Facebook, Twitter and a blog.

30 January 2013

European Venture Capital: Myths and Facts

The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) has published a report dispelling many of the stereotypes and myths about the performance of Europe’s VCs.  

Myth #1:  “The likelihood of a successful VC exit is lower in Europe than in the US”
the timing and year of the investments, industry, and life-cycle stage of the company.  When these factors are controlled for, the probability of success, particularly when looking at IPO exits, is virtually the same in the US and Europe.

Myth #2:  “Some vaguely understood determinants of success are tilted in favor of the US and against Europe” 
Thus, the difference in performance results between Europe and the US is essentially due to the fact that Europe’s venture sector developed later than the US’s and Europe’s smaller pool of repeat entrepreneurs.  As the report’s conclusions highlight, this is something Europe’s venture and entrepreneurial community have been actively working to resolve in recent years.

Myth #3:  “There is a chronic stigma around failure which harms European entrepreneurs.”

This report, originally covered in the Financial Times, is really interesting and extensive, with lots of stats for those of you who love digging into the numbers.

European Data Forum: Free Registration and Call for Contribution are open!

The European Data Forum (EDF) 2013 takes place on April 9-10, 2013 in Dublin (Ireland). It is the annual meeting-point for data practitioners from industry, research, the public-sector and the community, to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the emerging Big Data Economy in Europe.
EDF aims to bring together all stakeholders involved in the data value chain to exchange ideas and develop actionable roadmaps addressing these challenges and opportunities in order to strengthen the European data economy and its positioning worldwide.

Event if this event is without sign-up fees, we ask for registration for planning purposes

The deadline for submissions is: 22nd Feb 2013, 02.00pm CET

23 January 2013

Localisation and the return of fascism

With the advent of the Internet and content produced by users, language is evolving at an ever increasing rate and people are expressing themselves from bad to worse. Common mistakes eventually become systematic and accepted as the norm once the next generation forgets the correct form.

Among those languages progressively losing their cultural identity, Italian has pride of place. Young Italians don't know their own language and even institutions in the country don't seem to worry about preserving it.

The full article on the website of the LT-Innovate member Fairtrad will explain you the reasons why crowdsourcing of translation is to be avoided as much possible and will urge you to have your virtual content translated by a professional translator – an absurd idea perhaps – but you never know. It might work.

21 January 2013

Bitext partners with Tuitele to provide Sentiment Analysis for Spanish Social Media audience

Bitext provides Tuitele with sentiment analysis technology for measuring television audience in social media.

Madrid, Spain, Jan. 8, 2013Tuitele, the company measuring TV social audience in Spain, has launched Tuitele_Analytics, a tool for performing daily metrics and analysing the comments from viewers about television programmes. Tuitele_Analytics provides a daily qualitative analysis of the most important programmes and the most commented content, including the analysis of the comments and the social media impact generated by each programme.

Thanks to this agreement, Tuitele_Analytics also offers clients the sentiment analysis –positive or negative– of the viewers’ comments. The semantic analysis from Bitext specifies whether comments are either positive or negative, the intensity level, the related topics (characters, plot, schedule…), etc.

According to David Sánchez, one of the founders of Tuitele: “For Tuitele it is paramount to guarantee the quality of the measures and analyses. That is why we have partnered with Bitext, a Spanish company specialized in semantic analysis, so that we can offer this service of sentiment analysis. Bitext has the necessary knowledge and experience for providing Tuitele with the best sentiment analysis, especially on sources like Twitter, that are extremely difficult to analyse”.

Antonio Valderrábanos, Bitext CEO, added: “Tuitele has recently become the leader service for measuring online impact of TV programmes, the so called “social audience”. At Bitext we are delighted to collaborate with them in order to go from the quantitative aspects –number of comments generated by a particular programme– to the qualitative aspects –what reactions are generated by the programme, negative or positive ones; about which aspects of the programme: characters or the plot–, in order to better know the audience and its motivations”.

About Tuitele

Tuitele monitors, measures and analyses in real time the social conversations which are generated by TV programmes in Spain. Tuitele extracts and stores comments about TV programmes written by viewers on social media in order to describe and compare social audiences of each programme.  Tuitele, owned by The Data Republic, a company specialized in the analysis of data generated in Internet, has TV networks, producers and media agencies as main customers. Contact: info@thedatarepublic.com, http://www.thedatarepublic.com

About Bitext

Bitext is a leading provider of OEM text analytics technology for major European languages. Bitext develops semantic services for software vendors that want to include semantic capabilities in their products, with a focus on two markets: social media and big data analysis (social CRM, Voice of the Customer), and search (Natural Language Search). These services are available through two different channels: Bitext Consulting and the Bitext API, which provides a web service to open up the Bitext semantic technology to third-party developers. 

Contact: info@bitext.com
Press Release: click here.

18 January 2013

TEMIS Launches Luxid® Community, the First Collaborative Semantics Platform

Paris, France – January 17th, 2013 – TEMIS, the leading provider of semantic content enrichment solutions, is pleased to announce that the Luxid® Community Platform will be going into open beta this month.  The Luxid® Community Platform is an online collaboration platform where semantic content enrichment practitioners can meet their peers, exchange best practices, share information extraction components and accelerate their projects. TEMIS will unveil the Luxid® Community Platform in four dedicated events in New York, Berlin, Paris and London starting January 29th, where TEMIS customers and partners will be invited to join the platform and help further shape its directions. To learn more about the Luxid® Community Platform, register for the launch event of your choice on the TEMIS website at http://www.temis.com/join-the-luxid-community.

“Structuring their unstructured content is becoming a burning need for organizations, but the corresponding ecosystem is still fragmented. With the Luxid® Community Platform, our goal is to help our customers and partners to collaborate and facilitate the mainstream adoption of semantic content enrichment technologies”, said Daniel Mayer, VP Marketing of TEMIS. “To enable synergies, the Luxid® Community platform will also include a Marketplace where organizations can exchange components that are relevant to their semantic content enrichment process.”

TEMIS helps organizations structure, manage and exploit their unstructured information assets. Its flagship platform, Luxid®, exploits off-the-shelf extractors called Skill Cartridges® to extract targeted information from unstructured content and semantically enrich it with domain-specific metadata. This enables professional publishers to efficiently package and deliver relevant information to their audience, and helps enterprises to intelligently archive, manage, analyze, discover and share increasing volumes of information. Luxid® includes a suite of productivity tools enabling TEMIS customers and partners to customize existing Skill Cartridges®, develop new ones from scratch, as well as optimize quality and performance.

The Luxid® Community Platform enables registered members to:
•    Meet other members and share best practices related to semantic content enrichment, information extraction, analytics and discovery,
•    Initiate collaborative projects with other users with similar use cases,
•    Identify service providers and domain experts who can assist them in their projects,
•    Share or sell their Skill Cartridges®, taxonomies, corpora, and other Luxid®-related component


Martine Falhon,
Corporate Communications, TEMIS
Tel. +33 (0)4 56 38 24 03

16 January 2013

New IT Job for Language-Loving Creatives

The next generation of virtual assistants (VA) will probably have to learn better interpersonal skills by parsing humans in all their infinite variety of linguistic skills. Most of all they will need to interpret not just strings of language but entire speech acts - the forms of psychological intent encoded in utterances

This must be why Apple has recently place an ad on LinkedIn in search of a human to help educate Siri become even more conversationally adept.

 "We’re looking for a uniquely creative individual to help us evolve and enrich Siri, our virtual personal assistant. Siri’s known for ‘her’ wit, cultural knowledge, and zeal to explain things in engaging, funny, and practical ways. The ideal candidate is someone who combines a love for language, wordplay, and conversation with demonstrated experience in bringing creative content to life within an intense technical environment."
 Much of the task will presumably involve working through the massive amount of paraphrases that humans exhibit in their discourse, or should I say people use when talking, or even speakers utter when conversing, etc etc.

Expecting VAs to learn similar (but subtly different) meanings through brute statistical force could be more costly than getting a wordsmith to train them explicitly. The Apple ad also specifies a preference for someone who knows other languages and has some experience of translation. What is translation but a cross-lingual paraphrase?

15 January 2013

LT-Innovate announces its work plan for 2013

Highlights of the LTi work plan are:
  • the LT 2013 study, which will provide a comprehensive overview of the LT market in Europe (to be published in February)
  • the 6 Innovation Partnering Focus Groups involving LT vendors and buyers focusing on eHealth, eMedia, eGovernment, eCommerce, eTourism and eSecurity (to be organised between January and May)
  • the annual LT-Innovate Summit, planned for 26-27 June 2013 in Brussels
  • the LT Innovation Agenda (to be published in October)
Download the work plan here

14 January 2013

BigHand achieves ISO 27001 Information Security Management Certification

BigHand, the award winning voice productivity software developer,  today announced that it has achieved accreditation in probably the most widely recognised and toughest Information Security Management standard in the world, ISO/IEC 27001:2005. Following eight months of detailed operational analysis and review BigHand joined a select group of companies when it was awarded accreditation for its entire global operations by world renowned certification body BSI. During its audit the company achieved the exceptional result of no non-conformities demonstrating BigHand’s strict adherence to explicit information security policies.

BigHand, the award winning voice productivity software developer,  today announced that it has achieved accreditation in probably the most widely recognised and toughest Information Security Management standard in the world, ISO/IEC 27001:2005. Following eight months of detailed operational analysis and review BigHand joined a select group of companies when it was awarded accreditation for its entire global operations by world renowned certification body BSI. During its audit the company achieved the exceptional result of no non-conformities demonstrating BigHand’s strict adherence to explicit information security policies.

Rob Lancashire, COO & CISO, (Chief Information Security Officer) BigHand commented:

The fact that BigHand have successfully completed the exhaustive certification process means that our hard work and establishment of internal controls has been rigorous. We at BigHand believe that this certification is reflective of our core organisational values of credibility, reliability and trust, things we recognise as critically important to each and every one of our customers”.

Chris Bell, BigHand Ltd, chris.bell@bighand.com

09 January 2013

Vote an LT Champion as Europe's Finest Tech Entrepreneur

The European Commission is launching Europioneers, an initiative to celebrate Europe's finest technology entrepreneurs. Supported by The Next Web, this prestigious technology award will be handed out to Europe's Tech Entrepreneur of the Year. Giving technology entrepreneurship in Europe visibility on a national, regional and global scale.

Nominate your favorite entrepreneurs now! Nominations are accepted from January 08, 2013 until February 14, 2013. 

06 January 2013

Thought for Food: the Bullipedia Project

Ferran Adria, the Catalan master chef who closed down his disruptive El Bulli restaurant in 2012, is embarking on a fascinating new culinary project that goes to the heart of Europe’s innovation agenda. After flirting with the molecular, Adria now appears to be going all-digital.

He is building a collaborative, interactive website called La BulliPedia that will offer an online wiki-style database containing every bit of (European?) gastronomic knowledge since the 17th century. His ultimate purpose is to provide a “creative archive” of resources rather than just recipes. He has backing from Telefonica Digital and the site is due to go live in 2015.

Here are three good reasons why this experiment will be worth watching:
  1. First, it will almost inevitably mean building a knowledge base about cooking food products that will link intelligently to other digital cooking resources: no wiki is an island. This in turn means building some kind of semantics of raw foodstuffs, chemical structures, menu ingredients, cooking methods and more to optimise searches over the database. The result will presumably be a gigantic gastronomy graph that could set a new standard for this domain.
  2. Second, it will need some clever translation functionality to make it optimally accessible to everyone. However, foodie language is exceptionally linked to terroir, locality, and cultural specifics. This raises the question of when to use translation, transcreation or borrowing as the appropriate tool, and how to automate this as much as possible. A fully language-neutral (i.e. what you speak is what you get) approach would offer a wonderful test case for a best-practice localisation/translation strategy.
  3. Third will BulliPedia be able to mesh with the recent announcement from IBM about the outcomes of its cognitive computing project on taste?
The system analyses foods in terms of how chemical compounds interact with each other, the number of atoms in each compound, and the bonding structure and shapes of compounds. Coupled with psychophysical data and models on which chemicals produce perceptions of pleasantness, familiarity and enjoyment, the end result is a unique recipe, using combinations of ingredients that are scientifically flavourful.
In a world of increasingly personalised healthcare, artificial cooking intelligence could in due course draw on the BulliPedia database of dishes to map specific culinary compositions to individual physical conditions. This would eventually help associate the recuperative virtues of good food more closely with the creative imaginations of great cooks.

¡Bon profit!

03 January 2013

Call for papers: the European Symposium on Languages for Special Purposes (LSP) 2013

The European Symposium on Languages for Special Purposes (LSP) 2013 is going to take place in Vienna, Austria, from 8 to 10 July 2013. The following topics, among others, are going to be dealt with:
  • Languages for Special Purposes in different languages, countries and regions of the world
  • Theoretical and methodological issues of LSP research
  • Multilingualism, language policies and socio-cultural issues of LSPs

The deadline for the submission of oral presentations is February 12th, 2013.