• Nicola Cancedda
IIIA - International workshop on Intelligent Information Access, Helsinki, Finland, July 6-8, 2006.
More than half of the EU citizens are not able to hold a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue, let alone to conduct a negotiation, or interpret a law. In a time of wide availability of communication technologies, language barriers are a serious bootleneck to European integration and to economic and cultural exchanges in general. More effective tools to overcome such barriers, in the form of software for machine translation and other cross-lingual textual information access tasks, are in strong demand. Statistical methods are a promising approach, in that they achieve performances equivalent or superior to those of rule-based systems, at a fraction of the development effort. There are, however, some identified shortcomings in these methods, preventing their broad diffusion. SMART is an attempt to address these shortcomings by deploying the methods of modern Statistical Learning. The scientific focus is on developing new and more effective statistical approaches while ensuring that existing know-how is duly taken into account. Field evaluation on three user scenarios will ensure that advances make their way out of the laboratories, in the form of both improvements over existing technologies and of new applications
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