Language Technology News for 2009
New contents are provided biweekly. Please email any relevant news to .
- Privacy Concerns could limit benefits from real-time Data Analysis
In a "Perspectives" column, Tom M. Mitchell, head of the Machine Learning Department in Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, notes that data-mining techniques, once used for scientific analysis or for detecting potential credit card fraud, increasingly are being applied to personal activities, conversations and movements, such as information that can be deduced about an individual by monitoring that person's smart phone. "The potential benefits of mining such data range from reducing traffic congestion and pollution, to limiting the spread of disease, to better using public resources such as parks, buses, and ambulance services," Mitchell wrote. "But risks to privacy from aggregating these data are on a scale that humans have never before faced."
- Volunteers log off as Wikipedia ages
Wikipedia.org is the fifth-most-popular Web site in the world, with roughly 325 million monthly visitors. But unprecedented numbers of the millions of online volunteers who write, edit and police it are quitting. That could have significant implications for the brand of democratization that Wikipedia helped to unleash over the Internet - the empowerment of the amateur.
- Tim Berners-Lee about Linked Data
We started off with the Semantic Web roadmap, which had lots of languages that we wanted to create. [However] the community as a whole got a bit distracted from the idea that actually the most important piece is the interoperability of the data. The fact that things are identified with URIs is the key thing.
- Meaning Tool: Training Semantic Search With Feeds
Meaning Tool provides a semantic engine that offers users a chance to extract concepts from text using specific semantic trees. Through Popego, the semantic search engine allows to add online profile and interests such as "gadgets" or "current news". From here, Meaning Tool serves entertaining content from across social graphs.
- First full implementation of Sensitive Artificial Listener software SEMAINE-2.0 released
The aim of the SEMAINE project is to build a Sensitive Artificial Listener (SAL) – a multimodal dialogue system with the social interaction skills needed for a sustained conversation with a human user. SEMAINE-2.0 is the first full implementation of a SAL. This video illustrates the concept.
- Nuance Dragon Search now Available from the App Store
New iPhone app lets users just speak what they want to search and get results for iTunes, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Google. Nuance Communications announced the availability of its Dragon Search App on the Apple iPhone App Store. Dragon Search is an advanced form of Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, optimized to serve millions of speakers’ simultaneous open-ended search queries. The app is currently free for a limited time.
- EU-sponsored LUNA project comes to a successful end
Loquendo successfully completed the three-year LUNA project (Spoken Languange UNderstanding in MultilinguAl Communication Systems), a European Union-sponsored initiative to address the problem of understanding spontaneous speech in the context of automated telephone systems. The project aimed at developing robust technology capable of understanding customers' spoken requests, to allow the deployment of advanced vocal services, and to enable callers to interact by means of spoken language understanding (SLU).The ambitious goal of the project was to position itself at the forefront of the third generation of spoken language interfaces, by proposing new methods, algorithms, and tools to solve complex tasks and adapt to the context in which the dialogue is taking place. A three-tier software architecture has been used for SLU. The tiers implement the following processes: generation of semantic concept tags, semantic composition, and context-sensitive validation.
- Terminology Tools open sourced by The International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation
The International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation, has placed on the open source market the source code for tools to develop, maintain and facilitate the use of SNOMED CT clinical terminology. The source code for the IHTSDO Workbench now is available for free under an Apache 2.0 open source license from the Apache Software Foundation, Forest Hill, Md. Apache 2.0 is a backbone and licensing vehicle to distribute the source code. The foundation provides support to open source software projects. IHTSDO also will make a number of seats on a collaborative, Web-based environment used to host the Workbench available free of charge to open source developers.
- Turning thoughts into sounds
An experimental system is letting a paralyzed man turn his thoughts into the beginnings of real-time speech, according to researchers. Erik Ramsey, 26, from Georgia, in the U.S., suffered a stroke after a car accident at the age of 16, leaving him with Locked-in Syndrome.That's the same condition suffered by Rom Houben, the Belgian man who was last month discovered to have been wrongly diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state for 23 years. "It's a pretty significant achievement to be able to achieve speech recognition from brain signals, especially from the Neurotrophic electrode, which is attached to a fairly limited number of neurons," Moore Jackson told CNN.
- Words, Gesture translated by same brain regions
The brain regions that have been recognized as a center where words are decoded also are important in interpreting gestures, according to new research funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The findings suggest these regions may play a broader role in interpreting symbols than previously thought. "In babies the ability to communicate through gestures precedes spoken language, and you can predict a child's language skills based on the repertoire of his or her gestures during those early months," said NIDCD director James Battey, Jr., MD, PhD. "These findings not only provide compelling evidence regarding where language may have come from, they help explain the interplay that exists between language and gesture as children develop language skills."
- A new digital strategy for Europe on the agenda of the Telecoms Council
The Telecoms Ministers of the 27 EU Member States will meet at the Telecoms Council in Brussels on 18 December 2009 to agree on priorities for a new European digital strategy in 2020. This strategy should help EU countries to recover from the financial and economic crisis, while speeding up the move towards a smart and green economy. The EU 2020 strategy will build on the successes of the Lisbon strategy since its relaunch in 2005 and address some of its shortcomings.
- Open Energy Information site uses Linked Data approach
The Energy Department is making its energy data widely available to the public via a Linked Open Data platform to enable broader access to data and encourage greater collaboration and transparency. Open Energy Information is based on the same software that runs Wikipedia, and allows users to not only access Energy's data, but also contribute information. “This information platform will allow people across the globe to benefit from the Department of Energy’s clean energy data and technical resources,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The true potential of this tool will grow with the public’s participation – as they add new data and share their expertise – to ensure that all communities have access to the information they need to broadly deploy the clean energy resources of the future.”
- MultiMT technology from Multilizer to allow for automatic evaluation of machine translation quality
Multilizer announces the creation of new MultiMT technology (Multiple Machine Translation Technology) that allows automatic evaluation of machine translation quality and the automatic selection of best available machine translation. It is intended for better use of already existing machine translation services.
- Bing to hit 10 % in search share on the cost of Yahoo!
The Bing search engine finally broke the 10 percent market share barrier in November, according to the latest research from Web analytics firm comScore. However, Microsoft's search engine growth once again comes at the expense of Yahoo rather than cutting into Google's dominant position. Bing launched six months ago and has been slowly but surely ascending the market share ladder ever since, although recently those gains have been showing signs of leveling off. Additionally, as has occurred several times since Bing rolled out in June, November resulted in share gains for Bing and Google, and losses -- if only slight -- for Yahoo.
- Ray Kurzweil's future predictions
Raymond Kurzweil born February 12, 1948 an inventor and futurist is involved in fields as diverse as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has called Ray Kurzweil “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence.” In a book published in 1998, Kurzweil prognosticated the future we would see in 2009. Here are some of his hits and misses.