science 25.5.2016 15:57

Portorož hosting language resources conference

Portorož, 25 May - The coastal town of Portorož is this week hosting the 10th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference. The conference, organised by the European Language Resources Association (ELRA), discusses the latest trends and challenges in the development and use of language resources and language technologies.

Portorož
The official opening of the 10th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference.
Foto: Aljoša Rehar/STA

Portorož
The official opening of the 10th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference.
Foto: Aljoša Rehar/STA

Portorož
Marko Grobelnik of the laboratory for artificial intelligence at the Jožef Stefan institute, speaking at the 10th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference.
Foto: Aljoša Rehar/STA

At today's official opening, head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia Zoran Stančič highlighted the importance of language resources and technologies.

Language resources are the main prerequisite for development of language technologies, which are necessary for the development of digital personal assistants, machine translation and similar applications.

One of the European Commission's key goals is creating a digital single market. But in order to achieve this goal, language barriers must be overcome while linguistic diversity must be preserved.

"Human translators are often too expensive and slow in addressing the challenges of a multilingual internet domain," Stančič said, adding that machine translations helped solve this problem, which was why the Commission co-financed research in this area.

According to the chair of the European Language Resources Association, Nicoletta Calzolari, significant progress has been made in the area in the last 30 years.

Marko Grobelnik of the laboratory for artificial intelligence at the Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia's top research institute, said the latest trend was deep learning - a set of techniques for machine learning.

ELRA secretary general Khalid Choukri welcomed the fact that scientific progress in the area of language resources has enabled the creation of increasingly many inspiring applications in business and society.

But the scientific community still faces several challenges, such as accessibility of language resources for certain languages and the issue of intellectual property.

The LREC conference, held between Monday and Saturday under the honorary sponsorship of President Borut Pahor, is being attended by over 1,200 scientists and researchers.

Among the keynote speakers is also research scientist Ryan McDonald of the English branch of Google.