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HLT Projects

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.

While elements of the three initial HLT action lines - Multilinguality, Natural Interactivity and Crosslingual Information Management are still present, there has been periodic re-assessment and tuning of them to emerging trends and changes in the surrounding economic, social, and technological environment. The trials and best practice in multilingual e-service and e-commerce action line was introduced in the IST 2000 work programme (IST2000) to stimulate new forms of partnership between technology providers, system integrators and users through trials and best practice actions addressing end-to-end multi-language platforms and solutions for e-service and e-commerce. The fifth IST call for proposals covered this action line.

HLT features in three action lines of the IST 2001 work programme. The Multilingual Web action line is a refocused version of the IST2000 crosslingual information management action line programme and is geared towards multilingual web content, translation and cross-media delivery.

The Natural and multilingual interactivity action line results from a merger and consolidation of the multilinguality and natural interactivity action lines in IST2000 and is geared towards intelligent information appliances and advanced communication services. It is covered in the sixth IST call for proposals.

The Key Action III specific support measures action line is a refocused version of the previous action line - working groups, and dissemination and awareness actions - in IST2000.

IST2001 - III.3.1 Multilingual Web

Objectives: To advance towards a fuller realisation of the multilingual Internet for personal development and informational purposes, and for distributed enterprise knowledge management across languages and delivery platforms.

Focus: Wider availability and more effective production and use of multilingual information over fixed and mobile digital networks. RTD work will address both integrative showcases and longer-term research endeavours with identifiable short term spin offs, and will encompass three intertwined project lines:

  • Collaborative multi-language design, authoring and publishing of online (Web) multimedia documents, including controlled language techniques and cross-lingual terminology support, and the associated need to preserve quality and consistency across parallel language versions through integrated workflow, quality control and update management tools;
  • Automated translation of written and spoken language, multilingual generation and cross-lingual gathering and abstracting of online (Web) content, including customised solutions for vertical markets, corporate intranets, and e-Commerce applications;
  • Adaptative information delivery through multi-channel services (text, speech, multimodal content and input-output) together with the associated information selection, conversion and rendering according to user preferences (from gisting through summarisation to full translation) and the capabilities of the access point (e.g. Internet PC browser, GPRS/UMTS micro-browser, fixed or mobile telephone).

Support will be provided for multilingual annotated language resources underpinning the above RTD lines, including methods and tools for automated extraction and labelling from existing data repositories, insofar as they provide a clear path towards industrially relevant applications or can greatly enhance the linguistic breadth and depth of existing systems and technologies.

Types of actions addressed: Research and Development, Demonstration, Combined projects

IST2001 - III.3.2 Natural and multilingual interactivity

Objectives: To progress towards a more intuitive interaction with, and effective use of intelligent network services and appliances. RTD will address both relatively short term applicative showcases and longer term research efforts aimed at robust dialogue and unconstrained speech/language understanding. The intended orientation towards middleware and embedded technologies presupposes significant advances of the component technologies and further progress towards their integration within mass market products and services.

Focus: RTD will focus on the intersection of multilingual input/output with speech-, language- and multimodal interaction and technology mediated communication, and address service issues such as performance, reliability and scalability of embedded speech and language technologies. RTD work will encompass:

  • At home: interaction with network enabled information and entertainment appliances, and command and control of complex home services and appliances, including reliable speech recognition and high quality synthesis in demanding environments and for user groups with special needs (e.g. children and non-native speakers)
  • At work: technology assisted interpersonal and group communication, including virtual meetings and multilingual dialogues e.g. for conversational customer support services.
  • On the move: interaction with and control of personal information and communication appliances, including next-generation mobiles and digital assistants, on-board devices and in-vehicle services.

Types of actions addressed: Research and Development, Demonstration, Combined projects

IST2001 - III.5.3 Key Action III specific support measures

  • Surveying the state of the art in the fields addressed by the Key Action, including technology foresight and market watch. This can be combined with benchmarking of research results and progress towards strategic goals, based on a (small) set of performance indicators measuring quality, effectiveness and impact along technical, economic and social dimensions. The work also covers surveys of the position of European research in this area with respect to similar efforts carried out under national or industrial projects or in competitor countries.
  • Identification, documentation and dissemination of knowhow, in the design, implementation and use of systems, tools and methods addressed by the Key Action. Projects will actively seek out results emerging from user trials (EU funded or otherwise), analyse strengths and weaknesses, disseminate conclusions and foster their deployment in other European programmes, national or regional initiatives including those supported by Structural Funds. In the case of de facto standards, emphasis will be on channelling them through relevant international and professional bodies.
  • Evaluation of advanced multimedia products and applications through open competitions and/or award schemes, with a view to establishing excellence in a variety of categories, based on innovation, creativity and other criteria. This action is expected to give rise to highly visible showcases, for exemplification and illustration.
    All research activities and outcomes are to be published using print and electronic media and disseminated through a variety of channels at project, cluster and programme level, and promoted at relevant conferences and trade shows, where appropriate through dedicated actions.

Types of actions addressed: Accompanying Measures (excluding Take-up).

IST2000 Action Line Descriptions

III.3.1 Natural interactivity

Objectives: To enhance the naturalness of interaction between humans and digital services and devices, the ease of use of computer systems in non-expert environments, and the richness and effectiveness of technology-mediated interpersonal communication.

Focus: Achieving a fuller integration of the speech and language processing communities with other related research communities, thus providing a path for multi-disciplinary collaborations. RTD will be geared towards unrestricted speech and language input-output, multi-modal dialogues, keyboard-less operation, and understanding of messages and communicative acts. Work will encompass:

  • Enabling research and technologies aimed at enhancing the naturalness of conversational interfaces through the integration of multiple modalities, in particular by coupling robust speech recognition and language understanding techniques with facial expression and gesture recognition and rendering, and considering anticipatory characteristics of dialogues.
  • Applied research and integrative showcases addressing human-computer interaction making use of multiple cognitive features and communicative acts, for interpersonal communication and interaction with virtual worlds, synthetic personae and multimedia systems.

III.3.2 Cross-lingual information management and knowledge discovery

Objectives: To empower people confronted with large quantities of digital information and to support them in knowledge intensive tasks, by exploiting the linguistic knowledge embodied in documents, messages, dialogues and audio-visual objects.

Focus: More intuitive and effective use and assimilation of information content through RTD addressing intelligent agents applying language-processing models and techniques for:

  • Cross-lingual information retrieval and categorisation; information ranking and profiling according to pre-set and dynamically adjustable relevance criteria; topic identification and summarisation, both within and across documents;
  • Deep semantic information analysis, knowledge detection and extraction, including entity recognition and fact extraction, and name and event correlation.

The information may be either structured (e.g. published text) or unstructured (e.g. e-mail, transcriptions of speeches) and is expected to exhibit a combination of text, speech and multimedia features.
RTD will address both applications-oriented showcases and longer-term research challenges, and is expected to build on and interact with concurrent developments at national and international level.

III.3.3 Multilingual communication services and appliances

Objectives: To make interaction with fixed and mobile communication services and appliances possible independently from the language of the user, and to progress towards a wider provision of multilingual capabilities within the universal infostructure underpinning the Information Society.

Focus: RTD will concentrate on the development and validation of robust methods and components for multilingual interpersonal and group communication, e.g. within multi-channel messaging and conferencing systems, including:

  • Adaptive multilingual interfaces to personal appliances and consumer devices, including e.g. mobiles, palm-tops, on-board devices and set-tops;
  • Cross-modal information selection, conversion and rendering (text, speech, multimedia) according to the capabilities of the access point;

and will address service issues such as robustness and real-time performance of embedded language technologies, their scalability and portability across languages and technical platforms, and hardware/software integration within the hosting system.

III.3.4 Trials and best practice in multilingual e-service and e-commerce

Objectives: To stimulate new forms of partnership between technology providers, system integrators and users through trials and best practice actions addressing end-to-end multi-language platforms and solutions for e-service and e-commerce.

Focus: Demonstrating and assessing the impact of innovative approaches (e.g. provision of multilingual and multi-cultural on-line content, Web enabled call centres and multi-access portals, multilingual transactions and customer-relationship management, etc.) on business patterns and capabilities, and customer behaviour and acceptance.

III.5.1 Working groups, and dissemination and awareness actions

Working groups for the stimulation and consolidation of standards and best practice work both at European and global level, in both formal and informal forums and involving national bodies, in the following areas:

  • Audio-visual content production and electronic publishing application areas (e.g. knowledge and lifestyle publishing, geographic information).
  • Virtual representation and preservation of cultural and scientific objects, including relevant policy issues (e.g. copyright, service models).
  • Learning technologies, e.g. open learning architectures, metadata, standard interfaces, models and best practice relating to reusable learning objects, potentially contributing to IEEE P1484 and CEN/ISSS workshop on learning standards.
  • Industry-led work in the human language technologies area addressing end-to-end and system-level interworking of heterogeneous components; open reference architectures and development environments, including service/application configuration platforms; interoperability and reuse of linguistic data, including automated techniques for extracting application and task specific information from experimental data.
  • Media representation and cross-media content interchange, especially for streamed digital audio and visual content, e.g. digital video objects and sequences.
  • Information retrieval, metadata, intelligent agents.

Dissemination and awareness actions to cover:

  • Measures aimed at a wider exposure of and user access to leading-edge technologies and innovative solutions, through virtual exhibitions and showcases, covering emerging results from previous and ongoing RTD efforts.
  • Establishment of focal points in support of national and international communities of human-language technologies researchers, developers and users, with a view to fostering new partnerships and speeding up the deployment of research results.

The following table shows how HLT R&D projects from the first 3 IST calls map to the broad HLT action lines - multilinguality, natural interactivity, cross-lingual information management and support & accompanying measures.

Natural Interactivity
Crosslingual Information Management
Support &

For additional information on the genesis and scope of HLT in the IST Programme follow the link.

  Version for printing Last updated: 05.02.01 16:05

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