Posted by: bluesyemre | January 26, 2018

#Scientists work to automate quick #translation of #ObscureLanguages


A team of researchers from the Information Sciences Institute at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has received a $16.7 million grant from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop an automated information translation and summarization tool to quickly translate obscure languages.

Principal investigator and ISI research team leader Scott Miller, ISI computer scientist Jonathan May and ISI research lead Elizabeth Boschee, with senior advisers Prem Natarajan and Kevin Knight, are leading a team of about 30 researchers, including academics from the University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Notre Dame. Natarajan is the Michael Keston executive director and research professor of computer science at ISI; Knight is ISI research director and Dean’s Professor of Computer Science.

The ISI team’s project is called SARAL, for Summarization and domain-Adaptive Retrieval, and includes experts in machine translation, speech recognition, morphology, information retrieval, representation and summarization. Saral is a Hindi word whose translations include “simple” and “ingenious.”

“The overall objective is to provide a Google-like capability, except the queries are in English, but the retrieved documents are in a low-resource foreign language,” said Miller, who is based at ISI’s new office in Boston.

“The aim is to retrieve relevant foreign-language documents and to provide English summaries explaining how each document is relevant to the English query.”

In this project, the team will initially test its systems using Tagalog and Swahili, two low-resource languages selected by IARPA for the task. Over the course of the project, the team will receive additional languages to translate using the systems.

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