Welcome, a new member

A new member just joined our team all the way from California, USA. Welcome, Judy !

Judy will be working with Inga on the ASR for parliament speeches project utilizing some mad Computer Science skills to among other things design an interface to get Inga’s research into the hands of the parliament staff.

It’s always necessary to not only have researchers, but also programmers and software engineers. All theory and no fun makes us all dull boys (and unemployed).

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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Szymon Klocek, 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

 

The future of Icelandic

The event “Educational day 2017”, organised by SA-Business Iceland on February 2nd, focussed on the  Icelandic language and language technology. Leading persons from academia, industry, politics, and culture spoke with enthusiasm about the role and future of Icelandic and the chances within language technology. The president of Iceland, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson (whose name posed a challenge to the pronunciation talent of Amazon’s Alexa), also honoured the meeting and professed great optimism for the Icelandic language and LT. As did our representative from LVL, Jón had a talk on speech recognition, “Speaking Icelandic to computers”.

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Bowling!

What better way to unwind than to take a step back, take 3 steps forward, and knock down those pins. The team went bowling at Keiluhöllin Egilshöll, had a few beers, a few laughs, and quite a few strikes (although machine intelligence combined with some robotics would probably have done better).

Of course it’s all about having fun and all that, but for the record, it was clear Michal and Jón were the best and won a game each.

ICASSP 2017 New Orleans – we will be there.

Two members of our lab will attend ICASSP 2017 conference in New Orleans. We will present a paper on the classification of voice modalities using a neck-surface accelerometer. The paper is the result of our collaboration with guys from the Massachusetts General Hospital, US and Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, Chile. Thanks for your help!

Hopefully, the trip won’t be all work and no fun.

Pilot tests

The paralinguistic team finished gathering additional data for the Voice patterns in air-traffic control project in the second half of December.  The participants are all pilots working for Icelandair that came to us straight after grueling sessions in their flight simulator.

We want to thank all the participants and staff of Icelandair for their cooperation!

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Eydís about to do a session with a pilot.

CADIA Christmas Party

It’s not all speech recognition, artificial and machine intelligence, cutting edge technology, cerebral topics and turning it off and on again. Sometimes, if not all the time, it is important to have a little fun! (not everyone likes social gatherings mind you, but many do)

Which brings us to the annual CADIA “Little Artificial Christmas” party! There was beer, food, games, music and general merriment. Two old Icelandic folk tales were recited for the group, much like was done in the old days before the invention of the transistor and other distractors.

And just like previous years the “Yankee Swap” gift exchange game was played. Everybody brought a little wrapped gift for the gift pool. The idea of the game is to pick something you have relatively little (or no!) use for yourself (maybe you can find something in your storage room). Otherwise, you can buy something small.

Merry Christmas!

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