Advanced LAnGuage INformation Forum


Advanced Language Information Forum Prospectus

 Universal communications technology is becoming more and more important for overcoming various types of barriers in communication. In particular, we need technology that can overcome the language barrier to make a dramatic improvement in the ability of people to communicate and to promote mutual understanding beyond language, knowledge, cultural, and community barriers.Such technology is crucial to the creation of an information society that will enable everyone to lead an enriching and comfortable life.

 In March 2011, Japan experienced an earthquake of catastrophic proportions said to occur only once in a thousand years. The Tohoku region of the country suffered serious damage as a result. During that time, several information-sharing attempts over the Internet played a key role in helping people to search for and share information on the well being of others and on conditions in the stricken areas, and to support the reunion of families and the supply of essential goods to devastated areas. This kind of information sharing promoted cooperation across organizational borders and became indispensable to restoration and recovery in the wake of the disaster. It helped, for example, in coordinating the distribution and stockpile of relief goods and ensuring flexibility in plant operations, such as obtaining automobile parts.
 At the same time, society is becoming increasingly “borderless,” and as the Internet continues to grow, real-world information is being projected to the cyber-world over the Internet in the form of information and knowledge in all sorts of languages. In this emerging environment, “language” is taking on an increasingly important role as a central tool for connecting, structuring, and sharing diverse types of information.

 Since its establishment in 2009, the Advanced Language Information Forum (ALAGIN), under the former chairperson Junichi Tsujii, has been advancing and promoting technology for making information processing and communication free of the language barrier and sharing speech and linguistic resources/tools across organizations. Specifically, the Forum has been bringing together representatives of industry, academia, research institutions, and the government to research and develop, test, and standardize text and speech translation systems, spoken dialogue systems, information retrieval technology, information analysis technology (including credibility analysis), and advanced information retrieval technology. Forum members have also worked to develop and distribute linguistic resources (dictionaries, corpora, etc.) on an unprecedented scale for use in these technologies. We have actively provided forum members with the tools and linguistic resources emerging from these efforts, and we have been holding a variety of technology workshops and seminars to give all interested parties, from industry, academia, and government, a chance to interact. We feel that expanding and enhancing these activities and broadening our efforts beyond Japan will help dismantle the language barrier and promote efficient decision making and communication in Japan, which should add impetus to our efforts to recover from the recent crisis.
 Continuing in the footsteps of Junichi Tsujii, I am deeply committed to the expansion of ALAGIN. I look forward to working alongside all of the people involved in promoting ALAGIN activities.

Chairperson    Satoshi Nakamura

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