Just recently two major initiatives have emerged (or are in the process of emerging). TAUS is promoting the “Human Language Project” and LT-Innovate is initiating the development of “European Language Cloud” (ELC). Both of these projects have the same main idea: sharing language technologies and data in a way that enables faster development and easier use of various language resources in many languages.
The Human Language Project
The Human Language Project is created to boost the European language services sector to become a 100 billion Euro industry. Its goals are to make a truly open market in the European Union possible and to spur growth in international trade and ecommerce. The 5-year project is a 100 million Euro investment. Here are listed some means to reach these goals:
- Fearless sharing of language and translation data (both spoken and written) which usage isn’t constrained by any outdated copyright law. This data will be in all languages and between all language pairs.
- A library of translation, language and reordering models to enable fast development and customization of machine translation engines. All languages will be covered.
- A translation quality evaluation platform to find and produce the right translation quality level for different content types and use cases.
- A library of language tools to help language and translation service and technology providers to improve and customize their solutions.
- Common translation web services API’s to ensure that all services and technologies work seamlessly together.
The European Language Cloud
LT-Innovate describes the European Language Cloud (ELC) as a public infrastructure to process unstructured content and data. The ELC is created to boost the European economy by decreasing the language borders both inside the continent and between European companies and the global markets. The goals of the ELC are to allow all Europeans to seamlessly interact with each others and to bring down the costs of cross-border trade within the market of 1 billion speakers of European languages.
In one sentence, the European Language Cloud would be:
For software companies who work on text not numbers the European Language Cloud is a web-based set of APIs that provides the basic functionality to build products for the 24 languages of the Single Digital Markets as well as Europe’s main trading partners in the same base quality under the same favorable terms.
As you can see, both of these projects include not only services and technology for end-users but also various tools for business to create new services and technologies. And all this vision includes many languages which is very important. Currently one of the main obstacles in the research and development is that different technologies and resources, while they do exist, are scattered and often incompatible with each other which makes them difficult to use.
Clearly the both initiatives are very good and beneficial and they complement each others. Let’s work together so that both initiatives come true. It will benefit all of us.