Uniting Machine Translation

July 26, 2016

Uniting Machine Translation

Posted: 26/07/16

Researchers in the ADAPT Centre are leading the way to turn one of the largest barriers to a European Digital Single Market (DSM) into a competitive advantage. An event dedicated to the ongoing Machine Translation research in ADAPT was held in Dublin City University (DCU) on Thursday July 21st. The ADAPT Machine Translation Research Team came together to present their latest work and discuss potential avenues and applications of MT research.

Machine translation is one of the most timely and cost effective methods for tackling issues arising in multilingual markets. The European Union is one of the most linguistically diverse markets in the world with 24 official languages. The need for effective translation services is increasingly evident particularly in public e-services and the online market.

Despite the importance of this research there was no direct mention of machine translation in the current Horizon 2020 calls. However, the European Commission Vice President for DSM said: “Overcoming language barriers is vital for building the DSM, which by definition is multilingual. It is now time to reduce and remove the language barriers that are holding back its advance”.

The ADAPT Centre has a human centred focus to its current MT research. Human interactions with MT systems on an translator or end user level are being analysed and evaluated. The usability of a system, users satisfaction and the estimated quality of the translation are currently all core research areas within ADAPT. The potential applications for MT research include bringing small e-retailers and web-based traders to the international market, decreasing costs in producing product descriptions and support services. Alongside improvements in translations based on sentence structure, ADAPT researchers are making advances in semantics and equivalence, improving the level of customer service a company can provide. The extent of the impact that ADAPT’s machine translation research can have, particularly on human interactions, is most evident within the research revolving around Crisis Translation.

The recent event in DCU aimed to further unite the researchers within ADAPT’s Machine Translation team. Communication between researchers was encouraged by the inclusion of team building exercises and competitions. Group discussions on the future implications and potential new use cases occurred, highlighting potential new avenues of research. Functioning as a team allows the researchers in the ADAPT Centre to work at the cutting edge of the MT field as it develops. The possibility of linking various systems and technologies developed within the ADAPT Centre offers the potential to rapidly evolve the entire field of MT and make the idea of a European DSM a distinct possibility in the near future.

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