Pangeanic is an industry partner on “Machine Translation: Contribution to Digital Language Equality and Impact on Society” within the European Language Equality project.
The European Language Equality (ELE) project develops a strategic research, innovation and implementation agenda as well as a roadmap for achieving full digital language equality in Europe by 2030. The project gathers 52 partners from all European countries, representing language industry practitioners, academia and research as well as representatives from other EU-funded initiatives Pangeanic’s contribution falls within a project’s “Deep Dive”, which is composed of experts in an area and covers an strategic agenda.
The META-NET White Paper series reported on the issue of language equality within an European context almost ten years ago. Most of the technology support for Europe’s languages is, ten years later, still characterized by a stark imbalance. Many resources and technologies exist for well-resourced languages such as English, many other languages, although official at a national or regional level, suffer from a lack of technology support. More than 21 European languages are in danger of digital extinction according to the META-NET White Papers reports. The objective of European Language Equality project is to develop a strategic plan and roadmap to address this situation in a comprehensive way so as to establish full digital language equality in 2030. ELE will cover and report on more than 70 languages.
The main tangible results to be produced by the ELE project are as follows:
- The research partners will prepare updates of the 32 META-NET White Papers. This will also include the results of a consortium-wide exhaustive collection procedure of data and list of resources. These updates will provide a detailed, empirical and dynamic map of technology support for all European languages.
- A number of other initiatives and networks (CLAIRE, CLARIN, LT Innovate, META-NET, ELG, ECSPM, EFNIL ELEN, LIBER, NEM and Wikipedia) are also engaged with a view to produce one report each in which they collect, consolidate and present their own position, needs, wishes, demands and visions with regard to Language Technology and the idea of establishing digital language equality in Europe.
- The industry partners will produce four technical Deep Dives for the main areas of Language Technology: Machine Translation (where Pangeanic contributes), Speech Technologies, Text Analytics and Natural Language Understanding as well as Data.
The project’s results will be used as input for the strategic agenda and roadmap, to be consolidated in early 2022.
This gathering of experts from academia, industry and practitioners is a direct response to the resolution “Language equality in the digital age”, which was passed by the European Parliament in a landslide vote – 592 votes in favor and only 45 against – in September 2018. The report provides more than 40 recommendations, including:
- 25. Establish a large-scale, long-term coordinated funding programme for research, development and innovation in the field of language technologies, at European, national and regional levels, tailored specifically to Europe’s needs and demands
- 27. Europe has to secure its leadership in language-centric AI
ELE will develop a strategic plan that will provide concrete steps to put these recommendations, and others, into action.
Collaboration with ELG
ELE started on 1 January 2021 and runs for 18 months. The project will end in June 2022, just like its sister project European Language Grid (ELG), with which ELE closely collaborates, especially with regard to the ELG NCCs, the network of National Competence Centers, and through using and promoting the European Language Grid cloud platform itself for several purposes in ELE. Both projects will organize a joint final conference, META-FORUM 2022, to be held in Brussels in June 2022.