HUMAN LANGUAGE PROJECT

PREPARATION

THE HUMAN LANGUAGE PROJECT:
 A NEW EU FET FLAGSHIP INITIATIVE

THE VISION

Multilingualism is a key cultural cornerstone of Europe and signifies what it means to be and to feel European. However, its multilingual setup is also one of the main obstacles of a truly connected, language-crossing Digital Single Market as well as Communication and Information Space. Europe is in need of powerful language technologies, tailored to our specific cultures and societal as well as economical demands.

The goal of the Human Language Project (HLP) is to tackle
Deep Language Understanding 
by 2030
.

The Human Language Project aims to develop monolingual, cross-lingual, multilingual, multimodal, context-aware, culture-aware and knowledge-rich computational models that understand human language in a precise and semantically deep way – from the individual to the population, from language development to language use to language change, from individual spoken utterances to full speeches, from tweets to complex documents, from simply saying “hello” to complex dialogues. 

THE PLAN

The Human Language Project is a large-scale, long-term research (applied and basic), development and innovation programme in which innovation and commercialisation work closely together to maximise the impact of language technologies on the European economy and society.

Primary fields include:

  • Computational Linguistics and Language Technology (incl. Multimodal, Interactive, Multilingual)
  • Linguistics (incl. Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Neurolinguistics)
  • Artificial Intelligence (incl. Machine Learning, Deep Learning) 
  • Knowledge Technologies (incl. Representation, Linked Data, Inferencing) 

Secondary fields include:

  • Social Sciences and the (Digital) Humanities (SSH, DH)
  • Computer Science (incl. Big Data, High-Performance Computing and Internet of Things) 
  • Cognitive Science (incl. Psychology) and Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

+++ BREAKING NEWS 11 SEPT. 2018: EP VOTE +++

The European Parliament voted in favour of the report on “Language equality in the digital age”

On 11 September 2018 the European Parliament voted upon the joint CULT/ITRE report on “Language equality in the digital age” with 592 votes in favour, 45 against (in addition there were 44 abstentions). 

The full resolution, as adopted by the European Parliament, can be found here: BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV .

Excerpt from the recommendations for EU research policies:

“Calls on the Commission to 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; emphasises that the programme should seek to tackle deep natural language understanding and increase efficiency by sharing knowledge, infrastructures and resources, with a view to developing innovative technologies and services, in order to achieve the next scientific breakthrough in this area and help to reduce the technology gap between European languages; stresses that this should be done with the participation of research centres, academia, enterprises (particularly SMEs and start-ups) and other relevant stakeholders; further stresses that this project should be open, cloud-based and interoperable and provide highly scalable and high-performance basic tools for a number of language technology applications “

History and Timeline

The overall vision and plan of the Human Language Project as one of the next EU FET Flagship initiatives has been in preparation since 2010. Selected projects and events towards the active development, discussion and evolution of the Human Language Project are shown in the timeline below.

HUMAN LANGUAGE PROJECT PrepARATION

The Human Language Project (HLP) Prep consortium brings together the expertise and diverse experience of 16 partners from research and industry. After submitting a successfully evaluated Stage 1 proposal in February 2018, the consortium submitted the final Stage 2 proposal on September 18, 2018.

Vision

Assemble the whole European Language Technology community and related fields behind the vision of the Human Language Project

Plan

  • Outreach, networking and dissemination
  • Working group meetings and conferences

Key Outcomes

Final EU FET FLAGSHIP application 

 CONSORTIUM

Support the HUMAN LANGUAGE PROJECT!

Europe is unique. As is every single language on this continent. We need powerful language technologies tailored to our specific cultures and societies to boost innovation and economic development and to preserve our rich cultural history. With a letter of support you can help the HLP Prep proposal go a long way. Join the long list of supporters and contribute to the future of human language technologies!

Call to action:

Letters of Support
Countries
Stakeholder Groups

KEY References

  • Laure Le Bars, Steve Renals, Steven Krauwer, Sabine Kirchmeier-Andersen, Tamas Varadi, Claudio Soria, Nicoletta Calzolari, Khalid Choukri, Laura Brandon, Robert E. Etches, Sergey Gladkov, Jochen Hummel, Philippe Wacker, Jan Hajic, Josef van Genabith, Georg Rehm, Andrejs Vasiljevs, Meirion Prys Jones, Jaap van der Meer, Richard Ishida, and Felix Sasaki. Riga Summit 2015 Declaration. Riga Summit 2015. [Accessed 13 Aug. 2018] (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Stelios Piperidis, Harris Papageorgiou, Christian Spurk, Georg Rehm, Khalid Choukri, Olivier Hamon, Nicoletta Calzolari, Riccardo del Gratta, Bernardo Magnini, and Christian Girardi. META-SHARE: One year after. In Nicoletta Calzolari (Conference Chair), Khalid Choukri, Thierry Declerck, Hrafn Loftsson, Bente Maegaard, Joseph Mariani, Asuncion Moreno, Jan Odijk, and Stelios Piperidis, editors, Proceedings of the 9th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2014), pages 1532-1538, Reykjavik, Iceland, May 2014. European Language Resources Association (ELRA). (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Georg Rehm, editor. Language Technologies for Multilingual Europe: Towards a Human Language Project. Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. CRACKER and Cracking the Language Barrier federation, December 2017. Version 1.0. Unveiled at META-FORUM 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, on November 13/14, 2017. Prepared by the Cracking the Language Barrier federation, supported by the EU-funded project CRACKER. (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Georg Rehm and Stefanie Hegele. Language Technology for Multilingual Europe: An Analysis of a Large-Scale Survey regarding Challenges, Demands, Gaps and Needs. In Nicoletta Calzolari, Khalid Choukri, Christopher Cieri, Thierry Declerck, Sara Goggi, Koiti Hasida, Hitoshi Isahara, Bente Maegaard, Joseph Mariani, Hélène Mazo, Asuncion Moreno, Jan Odijk, Stelios Piperidis, and Takenobu Tokunaga, editors, Proceedings of the 11th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2018), pages 3282-3289, Miyazaki, Japan, May 2018. European Language Resources Association (ELRA). (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Georg Rehm, Josef van Genabith, and Markus Foti. AI for Translation Technologies and Multilingual Europe. In Valter Mavric, editor, Proceedings of the DG TRAD Conference – Translation Services in the Digital World: A Sneak Peek into the (near) Future, Luxembourg, 2018. 16/17 October 2017.
  • Georg Rehm, editor. Language as a Data Type and Key Challenge for Big Data. Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the Multilingual Digital Single Market. Enabling the Multilingual Digital Single Market through technologies for translating, analysing, processing and curating natural language content. CRACKER and Cracking the Language Barrier federation, July 2016. Version 0.9. 04 July 2016. Prepared by the Cracking the Language Barrier federation, supported by the EU-funded projects CRACKER and LT_Observatory. (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Georg Rehm, Jan Hajic, Josef van Genabith, and Andrejs Vasiļjevs. Fostering the Next Generation of European Language Technology: Recent Developments – Emerging Initiatives – Challenges and Opportunities. In Nicoletta Calzolari (Conference Chair), Khalid Choukri, Thierry Declerck, Marko Grobelnik, Bente Maegaard, Joseph Mariani, Asuncion Moreno, Jan Odijk, and Stelios Piperidis, editors, Proceedings of the 10th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2016), pages 1586-1592, Portorož, Slovenia, May 2016. European Language Resources Association (ELRA). (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Georg Rehm, Hans Uszkoreit, Sophia Ananiadou, Núria Bel, Audronė Bielevičienė, Lars Borin, António Branco, Gerhard Budin, Nicoletta Calzolari, Walter Daelemans, Radovan Garabík, Marko Grobelnik, Carmen García-Mateo, Josef van Genabith, Jan Hajič, Inma Hernáez, John Judge, Svetla Koeva, Simon Krek, Cvetana Krstev, Krister Lindén, Bernardo Magnini, Joseph Mariani, John McNaught, Maite Melero, Monica Monachini, Asunción Moreno, Jan Odjik, Maciej Ogrodniczuk, Piotr Pęzik, Stelios Piperidis, Adam Przepiórkowski, Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson, Mike Rosner, Bolette Sandford Pedersen, Inguna Skadiņa, Koenraad De Smedt, Marko Tadić, Paul Thompson, Dan Tufiş, Tamás Váradi, Andrejs Vasiļjevs, Kadri Vider, and Jolanta Zabarskaite. The Strategic Impact of META-NET on the Regional, National and International Level. Language Resources and Evaluation, 50(2):351-374, 2016. 10.1007/s10579-015-9333-4. (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Georg Rehm, editor. Strategic Agenda for the Multilingual Digital Single Market – Technologies for Overcoming Language Barriers towards a truly integrated European Online Market. CRACKER and LT_Observatory, April 2015. Version 0.5. 22 April 2015. Prepared by the EU-funded projects CRACKER and LT_Observatory. (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Georg Rehm and Hans Uszkoreit, editors. The META-NET Strategic Research Agenda for Multilingual Europe 2020. Springer, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London, 2013. More than 200 contributors from research and industry. (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Georg Rehm et al., editors. (2012). META-NET White Paper Series: Europe’s Languages in the Digital Age. Springer, Heidelberg,New York, Dordrecht, London. 31 volumes on 30 European languages. (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Georg Rehm, Hans Uszkoreit, Sophia Ananiadou, Núria Bel, Audronė Bielevičienė, Lars Borin, António Branco, Gerhard Budin, Nicoletta Calzolari, Walter Daelemans, Radovan Garabík, Marko Grobelnik, Carmen García-Mateo, Josef van Genabith, Jan Hajič, Inma Hernáez, John Judge, Svetla Koeva, Simon Krek, Cvetana Krstev, Krister Lindén, Bernardo Magnini, Joseph Mariani, John McNaught, Maite Melero, Monica Monachini, Asunción Moreno, Jan Odjik, Maciej Ogrodniczuk, Piotr Pęzik, Stelios Piperidis, Adam Przepiórkowski, Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson, Mike Rosner, Bolette Sandford Pedersen, Inguna Skadiņa, Koenraad De Smedt, Marko Tadić, Paul Thompson, Dan Tufiş, Tamás Váradi, Andrejs Vasiļjevs, Kadri Vider, and Jolanta Zabarskaite. The Strategic Impact of META-NET on the Regional, National and International Level. In Nicoletta Calzolari (Conference Chair), Khalid Choukri, Thierry Declerck, Hrafn Loftsson, Bente Maegaard, Joseph Mariani, Asuncion Moreno, Jan Odijk, and Stelios Piperidis, editors, Proceedings of the 9th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2014), pages 1517-1524, Reykjavik, Iceland, May 2014. European Language Resources Association (ELRA). (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Riga Summit 2015. Riga Summit 2015 Resolution. [Accessed 13 Aug. 2018]. (Direct link to webpage)
  • STOA (2017). Language equality in the digital age – Towards a Human Language Project. STOA study (PE 598.621), IP/G/STOA/FWC/2013-001/Lot4/C2, March 2017. Carried out by Iclaves SL (Spain) at the request of the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel, managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA), within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (DG EPRS) of the European Parliament, March. (Direct link to PDF document)
  • Andrejs Vasiljevs, Jan Hajic, Jochen Hummel, Josef van Genabith, and Rihards Kalnins. European Platform for the Multilingual Digital Single Market: Conceptual Proposal. In Baltic HLT, pp. 20-27. 2016. (Direct link to PDF document)

SELECTED PAST CONFERENCES and EVENTS

INITIATIVES REGARDING TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FOR MULTILINGUAL EUROPE

Network of Excellence consisting of 60 research centres from 34 countries, dedicated to building the technological foundations of a multilingual European information society.

Federation assembling European research and innovation projects as well as all related community organisations working on multilingual technologies.

In  the past, ideas of projects also titled “Human Language Project” were discussed by colleagues from the field. Their ideas differ from our definition of the concept. A short overview of what they referred to when talking about the “Human Language Project” can be found here.

Contact

For further questions please contact us!

TOP