Special Correspondent

IIIT to host global conference on Natural Language Processing today

Meet to facilitate exchange of information on language analysis, etc.

Over 300 researchers of NLP, 185 from 27 foreign countries to attend conference

HYDERABAD: Natural Language Processing (NLP) will help in enabling the computer to read any text in any language, make search engines more interesting and specific in retrieving information, says U.S.-based NLP expert Arvind Joshi.

He was talking to media persons at the Indian Institution of Information Technology (IIIT) here on Monday which will be hosting the Third International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing beginning on Tuesday. IIIT Director and Local Organising Committee Chairman Rajeev Sangal said the meet will facilitate exchange of information and understand the progress on language analysis, machine translation, question and answer type search applications.

The five-day biennial conference is being organised by the Asian Federation of National Language Processing (AFNLP) and IIIT. Over 300 researchers of NLP including 185 from 27 foreign countries like the US, Europe, China, Korea, Japan and Singapore are attending. Explaining the relevance of NLP in the Indian context, Prof. Rajeev said India with 23 recognised languages must leverage technology for speech recognition, machine translation and more applications. The Union government has earmarked Rs. 13,000 crore during the 11th Plan period for e-Governance under National e-Governance Application Plan.

Under the plan, IT is to be deployed in remote rural areas. But without a ‘natural language interface’ it will be impossible for the illiterate rural masses to access government services efficiently. IIIT is a partner in the national project on cross lingual search and in two years information retrieval in six Indian languages - Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Tamil and Marathi would be ready. It is also working on a ‘Machine Translation’ project involving 10 language pairs. Yuji Matsumoto, Programme Committee Chair from Japan, said of 270 technical papers submitted, 75 were accepted.