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Event: Building Language Technology for Everyone

When:Tu 06-04-2021 14:30 - 16:00

On Tuesday 6 April 2021 Campus Fryslân is hosting an online event about Voice Technology together with study associations Cover and Twist. Dr. Matt Coler will open the event with an overview of the MSc. Voice Technology programme. The headline speaker, Daan van Esch (Google) will then give a talk entitled “Building Language Technology for Everyone”

The lecture by Daan van Esch is also open for the general public. Register below to receive the link to join the session.

Building Language Technology for Everyone

Our world speaks thousands of languages, but historically, many of these languages have not had any language technologies built for them. In this day and age, with smartphones and access to technology now widespread around the world, there is a clear need to make sure technology supports as many languages as possible. I'll talk about some key technologies that are used by people in their everyday lives, such as smart keyboards and speech recognition systems, and recent progress in these fields: for example, as of 2021, Gboard, the Google Keyboard for Android, supports 900+ language varieties. I'll discuss the mix of research and operational challenges encountered in such large-scale internationalisation projects, and how we worked with native speakers to inject the right linguistic knowledge. Finally, I'll talk about how user-friendly open-source tools can help communities and linguists alike learn, teach, and study the world's languages.

Daan van Esch

Daan is a Senior Technical Program Manager at Google, leading the Languages & Linguistics team that's tasked with bringing language technologies such as smart keyboards and speech-to-text systems to more languages around the world. He has also worked extensively on conversational assistants. Daan believes the way to ensure we can build language technology for everyone is to blend linguistic expertise and knowledge with scalable infrastructure and state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms. His areas of research are Speech Processing, Natural Language Processing, Language Modelling, Machine Learning and Data Mining to name but a few.

Details event

14:30 - 15:00 Short VT Presentation + Q&A Session
15:00 - 16:00 Presentation from Daan van Esch + Q&A Session