Strategic Research Agenda for Multilingual Europe 2020

[April 2013]

The META Technology Council (part of the Multilingual Europe Technology Alliance) has now published its Strategic Research Agenda for Multilingual Europe 2020; it’s available in book form from Springer, but also available free (in chapter-by-chapter PDFs, not alas in live-text [ie XML or HTML] form) from the SpringerLink Open Access area.

I am not without bias (I served on the Technology Council), but it says here that the document provides an interesting look at where a group of very smart people believe research in language technology should head in the next years.

In addition to making a case for the cultural and economic importance of language technology, the paper identifies five specific lines of action (I paraphrase the description in the document’s executive summary). First, three research areas:

  • translingual cloud — cloud services for translation (and interpretation) among European (and major non-European) languages
  • social intelligence and e-participation — tools to support multilingual understanding and dialog to enable e-participation and improve collective decision making
  • socially aware interactive assistants — pervasive multimodal assistive technology

In support of these, it also identifies two other areas where work is needed:

  • Core technologies and resources — “a system of shared, collectively maintained, interoperable tools and resources. They will ensure that our languages will be sufficiently supported and represented in future generations of IT solutions.”
  • European service platform for language technologies — an e-infrastructure to support research and innovation by testing and showcasing results and integrating research and services

Parts of the text may sound a bit bureaucratic (as the paraphrase given shows), but when the document gets technical it is rather interesting.

Well worth reading. And may the funders heed it!