Archive | August, 2011

Human-Machine Interaction in Translation (NLPCS 2011)

21 Aug

For a few years now I have been in the Programme Committee of the International Workshop on Natural Language Processing and Cognitive Science (NLPCS), organised by a long-time colleague and friend, Dr. Bernadette Sharp from Staffordshire University. The aim of this annual workshop is “to bring together researchers and practitioners in Natural Language Processing (NLP) working within the paradigm of Cognitive Science (CS)“.

The overall emphasis of the workshop is on the contribution of cognitive science to language processing, including conceptualisation, representation, discourse processing, meaning construction, ontology building, and text mining.”

There have been NLPCS  Workshops in Porto (2004), Miami (2005), Paphos (2006), Funchal (2007), Barcelona (2008), Milan (2009) and Funchal (2010).

Copenhagen Business School

Copenhagen Business School

This year’s 8th International NLPCS Workshop just took place this weekend in Copenhagen, Denmark (20-21 Aug 2011). The Workshop topic was: “Human-Machine Interaction in Translation“, focussing on all aspects of human and machine translation, and human-computer interaction in translation, including:  translators’ experiences with CAT tools, human-machine interface design, evaluation of interactive machine translation, user simulation and human factors. Thus, the topics were approached from a number of different perspectives:

  • from full automation by machines for machine (traditional NLP or HLT)
  • semi-automated processing, i.e. machine-mediated processing (programs assisting people in their tasks),
  • but also simulation of human cognitive processes

I had the opportunity once again to review a few of the paper submissions and can therefore highly recommend reading the full Proceedings of the NLPCS 2011 Workshop that have just been made available.

I found particularly interesting the following 3 contributions:

  • Valitutti, A. “How Many Jokes are Really Funny? A New Approach to the Evaluation of Computational Humour Generators”
  • Nilsson, M. and J. Nivre. “Entropy-Driven Evaluation of Models of Eye Movement Control in Reading” 

and

  • Finch, A., Song, W., Tanaka-Ishii, K. and E. Sumita. “Source Language Generation from Pictures for Machine Translation on Mobile Devices”

Enjoy!

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Speech Interaction on Mobile Devices at SpeechTEK 2011 (New York)

7 Aug

Today sees the launch of the Joint AVIxD / IxDA Workshop on Speech Interaction on Mobile Devices that kick-starts the mother of Voice Solutions Fairs, SpeechTEK 2011 in New York next week (8-10 Aug).

AVIxD

AVIxD is the Association for Voice Interaction Design, a professional organisation that aims to

“eliminate apathy and antipathy toward the need for good design of automated voice services”, 

which has become my favourite VUI mantra!

IxDA is the Interaction Design Association, a much bigger professional “un-organisation” which  intends to:

“improve the human condition by advancing the discipline of Interaction Design”

A very worthy cause indeed, especially since it is true that “the human condition is increasingly challenged by poor experiences. “!

IxDA

Today’s Joint Workshop in New York aims to bring together interaction design practitioners from across the voice, interactive, and digital areas to identify the issues and challenges involved in  speech interaction design on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and to come up by the end of the day with ways to approach them or even tackle them. A very ambitious format that, however, really does work!

AVIxD organised another Workshop this year on Cross-linguistic & Cross-cultural Voice Interaction Design, which was also the 1st European Workshop, just before SpeechTEK Europe in London this May past. See what we all came up with in those 6 hours in the SpeechTEK Europe PDF presentation below.

And if you don’t manage to take part in today’s workshop, make sure you go to the SpeechTEK Conference and Exhibition itself that starts tomorrow and runs until Wednesday the 10th. Listen to presentations and see or even try for yourself market-ready products relating to:

  • multimodal applications
  • cross-channel applications
  • speech analytics
  • speaker identification and verification
  • in-car systems
  • natural language and say-anything technologies
  • speech translation
  • voice-enabled personal assistants
  • as well as the latest speech recognition techniques and technologies

I particularly recommend the Keynote Panel on “Mobility — A Game-Changer for Speech?” on Tuesday on how smartphones are dramatically changing how customers interact with businesses and with the devices themselves. Some really interesting issues and questions will be raised, such as:

* How voice user interfaces will be integrated with graphical user interfaces?

or

* Will users embrace voice as they have embraced keypads on mobile devices? 

Sadly I am in the UK today and next week, so I’m going to miss it all. But if you are lucky enough to be in or near New York, make sure you go and enjoy!

SpeechTEK 2011 New York