Language Technology Seminar this Saturday

The cooperation between LVL and other leading icelandic organizations is increasing. Tomorrow Reykjavik University and  Societas Scientiarum Islandica (Vísindafélag Íslendinga) are holding a seminar and panel discussion on the current progress and the future of implementing language technologies for Icelandic.

It will be held at Reykjavik University room M105. Hrafn Loftsson, of LVL, will be moderating the seminar starting at 13:30. It will consist of talks from a professor at University of Iceland, the chairman of Almannaromur, Jón Guðnason of LVL, and the director of Miðeindar ehf. Afterwards is the panel discussion.

We welcome everyone to attend the lively Saturday afternoon discussion!

Researchers’ Night

This Friday is Researchers’ Night (Vísindavaka Rannís 2018). It is an all ages event on the 28th of September, 2018 from 16:30 – 22:00 at Laugardalshöllin, Reykjavik.

We will be there with Reykjavik University demonstrating the possibilities of speech with tech: evaluating collected speech data (Eyra), testing the accuracy of an automatic speech recognizer(ASR) – https://tal.ru.is, listening to a text-to-speech synthesizer, and telling your phone to read the news to you. Come try out the state-of-the-art in Icelandic speech technology, and tell us what you think!

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Researcher by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 ImageCreator10

Student Projects Available

For the students of Reykjavik University or summer exchange students, we now have a list of student projects available. They are on  https://lvl.ru.is/student-projects/ or available from the Menu of the LVL website as Student Projects. They range from straight forward to difficult and are suitable for undergraduate final projects, Masters students, and PhD students. If you want to work on a one, please contact the people listed in the contact column, and they can give you more details to get you started. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Using language technology to assist the hard of hearing

The Nordic association of the hard of hearing (Nordiska Hörselskadades Samarbetskommitté, NHS) had a seminar at Hotel Selfoss last week. On Friday, Anna gave a talk there on how language technology might assist people hard of hearing to communicate and access information in a predominately hearing world. Automatic transcription of live communication and automatic caption of video material is already working for English and some other languages, and the Nordic participants of the seminar were eager to see this technology advance in their languages. At LVL, we are working on open ASR systems, making the development of technology like this possible for Icelandic.

The rest of the slides can be viewed by selecting the first slide below.

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Welcome Hrafn!

LVL grows even larger with Associate Processor, Hrafn Loftsson, joining our lab. His past work includes IceNLP. and the Almannaromur Icelandic speech corpus. Natural Language Processing is his primary focus.

 

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Without further ado LVL would like to welcome Hrafn, and we hope that he’ll lend his expertise to the rest of the LVL projects. If you would like to read more about him, you can check out his bio or his Reykjavik University page.

 

On an unrelated note: We also have added another project to our projects page, TTS for Icelandic.

Funding Approved for Icelandic Youth Language Study

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The Eyra app

We are delighted to be participating in the project “Icelandic Youth Language: An Empirical Study of Communicative Resources” headed by dr. Helga Hilmisdóttir at The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies.  Using Eyra, Teenage group conversations will be recorded and annotated during the project and used to study linguistic features such as communication patterns, vocabulary, imagery, inflection, sentence order and voice.  The data will also be used to improve language technology for teenage voices.

 

 

Largest Icelandic LVL Group at Interspeech in 2017

This August, our LVL group members will be attending Interspeech 2017 to present their three papers, meet other folks in the speech recognition field, and have lots of fun. Two posters,“Building an ASR corpus using Althingi’s Parliamentary Speeches” and “Building ASR corpora using Eyra,” will be presented during the Wednesday Special Session: Digital Revolution for Under-resourced Languages 2 poster session at 13:30-15:30 so go say, “Hi!” to our members if you can. The third paper, “Objective Severity Assessment From Disordered Voice Using Estimated Glottal Airflow,” will be presented as a talk by Yu-Ren on Monday afternoon.

For the Alþingi Speech paper by Inga Rún, the language corpus can be found at Malfong.is and the Kaldi recipe can be found on Github.com but the best resource will be Inga Rún herself so grab a drink and find her at the Welcome Reception or the Standing Banquet.

We hope to meet you all there!

Learning from Europe

Two of the LVL team, Jón and Anna, are working on a strategic plan for Icelandic language technology, together with Steinþór Steingrímsson from The Árni Magnússon Institute of Icelandic Studies. The three of them have been – and will be – meeting LT specialists in Europe to learn about successful technologies and to collect material for the strategic planning. February 15th to 17th they went from seeing Etienne Roth from EPC in Mannheim, Germany, on spell and grammar checking, to Luxembourg to speak with the machine translation team of MT@EC and over to London to meet speech synthesis specialists at Google. A lot of nice, clever and helpful people they met there! While digesting the mass-input of these three days, the preparations for the next trips are already ongoing: Estonia on the 1st of March and Gothenburg, Sweden, later the same month.

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Markus Foti, Jón Guðnason, Steinþór Steingrímsson, Michael Jellinghaus and Andreas Eisele at EC in Luxembourg

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Jón at the Goodenough House, where he lived while studying in London “some” years ago

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View from the 11th floor, Jón and Steinþór together with Oddur Kjartansson at Google, London