HUMAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGIES(HLT)

 

 Abstract

I am going to base my report in Human language technologies,due to the fact that I consider this topic useful in relation with my university career. Not only I consider it important, but it is the first topic we discussed and analysed in  New technologies lessons,so I suppose it has a great importance and influence in everything we will  study and learn for this subject. I like human  languages in general,and in fact I know for sure, that dealing with this topic  will enrich my knowledge and  views in relation  with the languages I am able to speak and with the sources in which I  will have to look information in relation with them.I am going to make reference to the technologies, used to work with human languages.

The sources I am going to use is internet.The pages where I plan to take the information from, are mainly the ones we talked about in class,but  if I find any other page in relation with this topic,I will let you know.

 Introduction

I personally know very few things about Human language technologies,I know ,that Human language technologies are the technologies,the ways to look for information for example in relation with the information revolution which has taken place in our first world society. The thing is that I do not see my self able to work on the topic by myself(hand in the other hand,I know it is not the aim of the subject),so I will do my work on Human language technologies taking information from the Net.Concretely,I am going to use the web pages suggested  in class,because once I have read them,I know there are quite complete and that have a lot of interesting information. I am going to start by doing an small introduction about what Human language technologies are and then I will expand the topic relating it with the problems Human language technologies will solve and its importance in  Europe.

 

HUMAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGIES:

These are the sources where I have taken the information from.,for this part of the report:

*Language Engineering and the Information Society (Document from I*M Europe)

*Human Language Technologies and the information society (Presentation of Action Line, by the EC: caché

*What is Language Technology, by Hans Uszkoreit (caché in PDF)

 

The overall objective of HLT is to support e-business in a global context and to promote a human centred infostructure ensuring equal access and usage opportunities for all. This is to be achieved by developing multilingual technologies and demonstrating exemplary applications providing features and functions that are critical for the realisation of a truly user friendly Information Society. Projects address generic and applied RTD from a multi- and cross-lingual perspective, and undertake to demonstrate how language specific solutions can be transferred to and adapted for other languages     Human Language Technologies will help to build bridges across languages and cultures and provide natural access to information and communication services.

 It will enable an active use and assimilation of multimedia content, and further strengthen Europe's position at the forefront of language-enabled digital services. It will support business activities in a global context and promote a truly human-centred infostructure ensuring equal access and usage opportunities for all. The ultimate goal of Human Language Technologies is an optimal use of the human capital, maximising businesses' competitiveness and empowering people. But first of all we should start informing about the huge information revolution which is happening recently in our now a day society. The development and convergence of computer and telecommunication technologies has led to a revolution in the way that we work, communicate with each other, buy goods and use services, and even the way we entertain and educate ourselves.

 We,people in the first world, all deal with computer systems and services, either directly or indirectly, every day of our lives.

This is the information age ,and we are a society in which information is vital to economic, social, and political success as well as to our quality of life.

 The language technologies will make an indispensable contribution to the success of this information revolution. The availability and usability of new telematics services will depend on developments in language engineering. Speech recognition will become a standard computer function providing us with the facility to talk to a range of devices, from our cars to our home computers, and to do so in our native language. In turn, these devices will present us with information, at least in part, by generating speech. Multi-lingual services will also be developed in many areas. But what do we mean when we talk about  language engineering?

 Lets see,the fact of having so much information to make use of, can  lead us to find some problems or little troubles in relation with all that information. Examples of such problems could be:

· access to much of the information may be available only to the computer literate and those who understand English;

· a surfeit of information from which it is impossible to identify and select what is really wanted. Language Engineering is the key to solve these sort of  problems. Language Engineering will also help in the way that we deal with associates abroad.

Although the development of electronic commerce depends very much on the adoption of interchange standards for communications and business transactions, the use of natural language will continue, precisely because it is natural.

 However, systems to generate business letters and other forms of communication in foreign languages will ease and greatly enhance communication. Automated translation combined with the management of documentation, including technical manuals and user handbooks, will help to improve the quality of service in a global marketplace. Export business will be handled cost effectively with the same high level of customer care that is provided in the home market. Some lines before we mentioned multi-lingual services,what we meant was that,in time, material provided by information services will be generated automatically in different languages. This will increase the availability of information to the general public throughout Europe.

Initially, multi-lingual services will become available, based on basic data, such as weather forecasts and details of job vacancies, from which text can be generated in any language.

Eventually, however, we can expect to see automated translation as an everyday part of information services so that we can both request and receive all sorts of information in our own language.

Taking into a count all this amount of information in any thinkable language we can imagine,we should be able not to get lost in it and to be the ones who control the information and not the ones controlled by the information.

That is something  funny but happens quite often.In many cases we look for some sort of detailed concrete information and we find no problem,but when we  have to deal with much more general and not concrete information,we sometimes  pay attention to things which are not really useful to us.

 

One of the fundamental components of Language Engineering is the understanding of language, by the computer. This is the basis of speech operated control systems and of translation, for example. It is also the way in which we can prevent ourselves from being overwhelmed with information, unable to collate, analyse, and select what we need.

 However, if information services are capable of understanding our requests, and can scan and select from the information base with real understanding, not only will the problem of information overload be solved but also no significant information will be missed. Language Engineering will deliver the right information at the right time.

 But lets go back to our main topic,which is human language technologies: Interactive multimedia content and services, interpersonal communication, cross-border trade and product documentation are all inherently bound to language and culture.

Advances in computerised analysis, understanding and generation of written and spoken language are going to revolutionise human-computer interaction and technology mediated person-to-person communication. Human Language Technologies aims to further strengthen Europe's position at the forefront of language-enabled systems and services. It will help bring the information society closer to the citizen by "humanising" information and communication services, and demonstrate the economic impact of language enabled applications in key sectors, notably those addressed by the Information Society Technologies (IST) programme.

 The focus will be on three major challenges presented by key drivers of the Information Society - specifically, the globalisation of economy and society, high-bandwidth digital communication and the World Wide Web - for which human language technologies play the following central rolewe will explain:

 1. adding multilinguality to information and communication systems, at all stages of the information cycle, including content generation and maintenance in multiple languages, content and software localisation, automated translation and interpretation, and computer assisted language training;

2. providing natural interactivity and accessibility of digital services through multimodal dialogues, understanding of messages and communicative acts, unconstrained language input-output and keyboard-less operation;

3. enabling active digital content for an optimal use and acquisition by all, through personalised language assistants supporting deep information analysis, knowledge extraction and summarisation, meaning classification and metadata generation

 

An integral component of Human Language Technologies will be broadly based actions addressing:

 a. transfer of innovative technologies to a wider set of languages, for instance in the framework of international cooperation;

 b. development of interoperable and reusable language resources;

c. definition of standards and interoperability guides for multilingual and translingual information processing;

d. assessment and benchmarking of language technologies and components;

e. focused take-up and demonstration activities, aimed in particular at SMEs;

f. multi-disciplinary skills development for language researchers, developers and knowledge professionals.

 g. establishment of virtual centres of expertise and networks of best practice providing focus and guidance for demonstration activities carried out in many distinct sectors.

 Business being inherently bound by language and culture, and information being mainly expressed and communicated in human languages, human language technologies will be the focal point of such an effort.

 Specifically, amongst the needs which must be addressed are:

· easy access to information and communication services in one's own language;

· effective harness of the information glut;

· meaningful use and assimilation of information;

· natural operation of new services without needing specialist skills;

· productive communication and cooperation across languages and cultures

 

BARRIERS TO OVERCOME AND PROGRAMME CONTRIBUTION

 The main issues raised by a full exploitation of the new opportunities offered by the Information Society in a culturally and linguistically diverse Europe are:

· high cost of multilinguality, caused by the diverse requirements of customers and commercial partners in terms of e.g. product and order information and international customers support, in a context where a growing amount of trade is being carried out electronically across political, cultural and linguistic borders, and where global competitiveness rests increasingly on shorter time-to-market, on higher information productivity and communication effectiveness;

· constrained information access and cumbersome operation of increasingly complex interfaces that hinder mass-market penetration of PCs, for which professional markets are approaching saturation; there is also an increasing need for citizens to access and understand public information, a requirement of making administrations and public utilities more transparent, offering services electronically in the user's own language, and a need for improved accessibility for people with special needs;

· communication overheads and bottlenecks involved in creating and managing business information in a group context, while information appliances and keyboard-less communicators are spreading, the mobility of people for professional and private purposes is growing, and new ways of distributed, computer supported cooperative working are emerging;

· information overload, which is increasingly causing substantial inefficiencies, prevents users from accessing and using the growing mass of information, requires specialist skills that are not available to most users, and prevents an effective use of commercial and public information for all citizens;

 · ineffective assimilation of knowledge due to the difficulty of organising the highly complex information structures available, hindering a more natural, meaningful and effective way to process them that is consonant with people's need and lets users focus on the interaction with the information content rather than the computer interface.

 

 THE CONTRIBUTION OF HUMAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGIES

 

Human Language Technologies will, through integrated activities covering targeted research, technology development, validation, first-use trials and demonstration, aim at providing:

· higher operation efficiency, additional revenue opportunities, and improved growth prospects, in particular for well established, high-employment European sectors such as telecommunications (e.g. through new added value speech services) and high-technology manufacturing (e.g. through improved multilingual product documentation);

· improved competitive edge, new business opportunities and broader market penetration, in particular for emerging or expanding sectors such as new online multimedia services (e.g. through intuitive and multilingual access), directory services (e.g. through spoken language access), transaction and communication services for electronic commerce and global virtual enterprises (e.g. through automated call centres, multilingual product catalogues and networked translation services); · advanced support for mobile work and interpersonal communication, in particular for distributed computer-based activities (e.g. through keyboard-less input and output, multimodal conferencing, and integrated multilingual email and spoken communication);

· enhanced control over the information glut and better knowledge assimilation, in particular for professional and private information-intensive activities, including education, training and self-fulfillment (e.g. through Web information analysis, classification and extraction), supporting a lifelong learning and, ultimately, aiming at extending human cognition (e.g. through personalised language assistants or "lingbots"); · equal opportunity of access to the benefits of the information society for all citizens, irrespective of language, education, culture (e.g. through language-based means for clustering, cross-referencing and searching of repositories of cultural heritage, learning resources and broadcast materials), for minorities and migrants (e.g. through full support for multilinguality) and people with special needs (e.g. through generalised speech access).

 

NOVEL ASPECTS

 

 Novel aspects of Human Language Technologies concern the approach, which is both more focused and more flexible, as well as the core RTD themes and the supporting infrastructure.

 · RTD topics of growing importance such as information analysis, summarisation, classification and understanding, full interactivity, multimodality and transmodality, dialogue and multiparty communication, active participation, and new language based interfaces.

 · Infrastructural aspects crucial for more effective of RTD, such as the transfer of innovative technologies to a wider set of languages; interoperability of technologies and components; standards for multilingual processing; portability, scalability and reusability of language data and tools; technology transfer, patenting and licensing; market watch and uptake stimulation; skills development and (re-)training, in particular for young engineers and researchers.

 · Coverage of more languages, like less widely spoken European languages, languages to be addressed due to the broadening of the Union, and globally strategic languages. Continued attention will be paid to applications being covered to an extent by current activities, and that have shown to be of high priority for European business and users, including multilingual support in general, multimedia online services, electronic commerce, including automated call centres and multilingual telephone-based services, language training, product documentation and localisation.

The Information Society drivers and HLT challenges This integrated RTD effort will be complemented by focused take-up actions, including the transfer of innovative technologies to a wider set of languages, support for technology transfer and market uptake, furthering of new forms of partnerships, in particular in the context of new convergences, awareness actions and dissemination of RTD results. Support will be provided for the achievement of the necessary RTD infrastructure, covering language resources, interoperability guidelines, standardisation and evaluation. Accompanying measures will include international cooperation and efforts to ensure a critical mass of multidisciplinary expertise at European level. The architecture of Human Language Technologies The share between core RTD activities on the one hand and focused take-up actions, infrastructural activities and accompanying measures on the other, will be determined and regularly reassessed in a way that optimises impact and return on investment.

 

THE CHALLENGES

 

The global challenges will serve as a framework for project clusters of targeted RTD, covering basic and applied research, technology development, the transfer of innovative technologies to a wider set of languages, and user-centred validation. Multilinguality Supporting all stages of information production and access, and business communication in a multilingual context, including content generation and maintenance in multiple languages, multilingual authoring, content and software globalisation and localisation, automated translation (e.g. Web) and interpretation, and computer assisted language training. Natural Interactivity Enhancing interpersonal communication and accessibility of digital services, multimodal interactivity, improved accessibility and language-based interfaces where multimodal dialogues, understanding of messages and communicative acts, gesture interpretation, unconstrained language input-output and keyboard-less operation can greatly improve collaborative applications.

 Active Content Enabling an active assimilation and use of digital content, and applying language processing models and techniques to knowledge intensive activities, through personalised language assistants and delegates ("lingbots") supporting deep information analysis, knowledge extraction, summarisation, meaning classification and structuring, and metadata generation.

What is different? In the transition from FP4 to FP5 Language Engineering (LE) become Human Language Technologies (HLT), and there have also been a number of significant changes at programme management and thematic level:

 · HLT has become the address for language RTD in Europe following the incorporation of activities previously run under EU programmes' ESPRIT and International Cooperation. · Following the new FP5 logic, HLT has adopted a goal and result orientation versus the task orientation favoured in FP4. · Whilst LE follows the Telematics approach to FP4 in placing much emphasis on user-driven demonstration, HLT encompasses all relevant types of RTD, from applied research and technology development, through language technology transfer, to near-market demonstration. · HLT builds on new interaction paradigms (e.g. multi-modality) and emerging technologies (e.g. distributed software agents).

 · The action lines open for each call will be re-defined on a regular basis, as will be the entire IST Workprogramme.

 · Selection of proposals takes place upon successful and timely completion of contract negotiation. · HLT was quick to exploit the new openness of FP5 regarding the participation of third countries e.g. in creating opportunities for joint research involving US and EU partners.

HLT Genesis In preparation for the Fifth Framework Programme, DGXIII started a consultative process in early 1997 involving users, developers and researchers, to determine the priorities for language technologies and applications in a changing world. This process yielded an HLT initial discussion document (July 1997), providing for the mission and rationale of language activities in future European RTD. The feedback received on this document allowed the preparation of a summary report (July 1998) used in the last round of consultations which culminated in the workshop The Language of Business - The Business of Language devoted to Human Language Technologies at the IST '99 conference in December 1998. Following the Research Council meeting held in February 1998, where a broad consensus was reached concerning the objectives and structure of the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) in the 1998-2002 time frame, the ministers met again on 22 June last and endorsed the proposal put forward by the European Commission concerning the Information Society Technologies (IST) thematic programme.

 Subject to an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council regarding the budget envelope earmarked for FP5, the research ministers are expected to ratify the IST programme at their next meeting, on 10 December.

According to this schedule, the first call for proposals under the IST programme would be issued in January 1999, and the first series of projects would start well before the end of 1999. In the meanwhile, the EC staff in charge of Human Language Technologies (the Language Engineering successor programme) have examined the many inputs submitted in response to the working paper "Human Language Technologies in the Information Society" published in July 1997, sought the advice of prominent experts and organised industry roundtables. Discussions have also been held with the managers of relevant US programmes, with a view to investigating the new opportunities arising from the recent EU-US S&T co-operation agreement. This working document attempts to summarise the outcome of these discussions, and is intended to stimulate public discussion and feedback in preparation for the next (and final) series of consultations that will be held in the Autumn. Rationale Spoken and written human language is without doubt the most powerful and flexible means for expressing, communicating, recording and retrieving knowledge.

Society and business alike are bound by language, and yet language and its embedded cultural, cognitive and communicative features are difficult to master and exploit especially in today's increasingly digital and 'global' world. While it is neither feasible nor appropriate for an RTD programme to provide multilingual and language-enabled interfaces, functionalities and content for each and every information and communication environment, the Human Language Technologies (HLT) project lines aim at providing a broad range of methods, tools, resources and processes that will make it possible to build such interfaces and functionalities in the most cost-effective manner. Such an enterprise will aim at addressing the broadest possible range of languages and targeting the application domains of most immediate relevance. RTD will thus enable Europe's diversity in the information age, support business in a global environment, and enhance the international competitiveness of European products and services.

 Mission Statement The overall objective of HLT is to support business activities in a global context - thus maximising businesses' effectiveness and competitiveness - and to promote a truly human-centred infostructure ensuring equal access and usage opportunities for all - thus empowering people and optimising the use of human capital - by developing and demonstrating advanced language technologies providing facilities that are critical for the realisation of a truly user-friendly information society, namely:

 · Cost-effective interchanges across languages and cultures;

 · Natural, easy to use, interfaces to digital services;

· Intuitive and effective use of digital content. Intended Scope Thematic project clusters will encompass targeted research and technology development, transfer of innovative technologies to a wider set of languages, and user-centred demonstration. RTD projects and take-up measures will encompass all languages in Europe and in major partner countries, foster collaborative links with national programmes and relevant international developments, and address coding and interchange standards, thematic networks and forums, market and technology watch, and technology-based and user-centred assessments. HLT actions will address three intertwined areas centred around the human interaction with information, with information services and with each other:

· Full Multilinguality, aimed at building multilingual intelligence into exemplary business processes, communication services, information appliances, and public interest services, thus enhancing their functionality, usability and accessibility across languages.

· Natural Interactivity, with the aim of enhancing the naturalness of human-computer interactions and the effectiveness of interpersonal communications in areas such as spoken and written language input-output, and mono- and multi-modal conversational systems with advanced understanding capabilities.

 · Active Content, with a view to improving the effectiveness of information access and the efficiency of information handling by exploiting the linguistic knowledge embodied in documents, messages, database records, dialogues and audiovisual objects.

 CONCLUSIONS:

In conclusion,Human language technologies will be ( and are) very useful.But itis not only that they are useful,but that they are necessary and a need for allthat people who search information (or anything) in the Net. I personally have found out how important thery are,even if at the beginning Idid not even know  about their existence. We,students,have definitely  got to learn how to look for information  and todifference from what we need and do not need.Bur it is not only useful forus,students,teachers or whatever….it is something basic to know about independently from your job or studies,due to the fact that Internet it is something used by nearly every body now a days in these our first world countries.

MIREN ITSASO BLÁZQUEZ