Infrastructures for Global Collaboration

ACL 2000 Workshop

Infrastructures for Global Collaboration

Workshop Announcement and Invitation to Contribute

organized by ELSNET

in conjunction with ACL 2000

Hong Kong, October 7, 2000

Provisional program

Language and speech technology are different from most other technologies in that the complexity of the problems addressed ('how to gain enough insight in human language behaviour in order to be able to automate certain communication tasks') is multiplied by the number of languages (every language comes with its own unique problems), and even by its square if one thinks of communication across language barriers.

At the same time it is clear that solutions found for problems in one language may be fully or partially portable to other languages.

Within the European Union, the above (and other) observations have led to the creation of major R&D programmes such as Language Engineering, and Human Language Technologies, where parties from all over Europe (and even outside) join forces in order to address the common problems. In addition, a number of infrastructures have been set up at the European level, such as ELRA (dealing with creating, sharing and distributing language resources), ELSNET (a network of key players in the European field of human language technologies, aiming at sharing information and expertise), and EAGLES/ISLE (aimed at developing standards in an international context).

The existence of transnational infrastructures is not limited to Europe, as is demonstrated by e.g. the main international professional organisations in the field of language (ACL) and speech (ISCA) technology, and the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC), but what is lacking is a clear overview of what transnational infrastructures exist world-wide, and how these infrastructures can be optimally exploited for global collaboration.

This workshop will address the following questions:
  • what are the existing infrastructures world-wide
    • are they optimally exploited from the point of view of global collaboration
    • if not, how could this be improved
  • what infrastructures or interconnections are missing
    • what can we contribute to their creation
    • what are the main actors (institutions, organisations)
    • what are the main instruments we have at our disposal to build and operate such infrastructures
The intended output is a strategic report, containing an analysis of the present situation, and an outline scenario for steps to be taken (actions, actors, calendar). The workshop should be seen as a first consultation and round-table discussion on this topic, and will be followed by similar events at other events, where other parts of the language and speech communities (both thematic and geographic) will be consulted.
Structure and audience:
It is a half day workshop. It will start with a number of invited presentations addressing one or more of the topics of the workshop, followed by a round-table discussion in which everybody is invited to participate. The intended audience are people interested in R&D policies and infrastructures.
Invitation to contribute:
Everybody, both workshop participants and others, is invited to send his or her views on the topics addressed by this workshop to the organisers by email. At the workshop a summary of these contributions will be presented.
The workshop is organised by ELSNET, the European Network of Excellence in Human Language Technologies, http://www.elsnet.org
Contact and information:
Steven Krauwer (ELSNET Co-ordinator)
Utrecht University
Trans 10 3512 Utrecht
The Netherlands
URL: http://www.elsnet.org/acl2000workshop.html


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