Working together

Chiang Mai report

Both Jon and Neil travelled to Payap University in Chiang Mai early in May for meetings with colleagues working with SIL/Wycliffe and GBI. The focus was on discovering and exploiting the ways our research might support one another’s work and the outcomes were very encouraging. Our own focus on language learning machines was strongly endorsed and we can already see ways in which this work might be exploited in systems under development by colleagues elsewhere.

The whole area of machine learning and automatic translation technologies is an increasingly important topic for bible translation and our key funders are known to be keen to exploit such technological developments. Ensuring our work is central to this is important to ensure that opportunities are not missed and the widest possible benefits are secured for translators.

Soon after our return from Chiang Mai we received an invitation to contribute to an important discussion with ETEN, our major funders, at the American Bible Society HQ in Philadelphia PA in July. This meeting will bring together the Chiang Mai participants with a wider group from other organisations working in the same field in discussion with funders. This is an important meeting for us. The work we do is primary research in a highly complex, technical field. Building confidence and understanding with funders is key to the long term outcomes towards which we are working. Jon travels out to PA on 10th July for this meeting.

DeepLo 2018

The response to our request for help with the costs of attending the DeepLo conference on MAT for low-resource languages in Melbourne was strong and Jon travels on from PA to Australia (via LHR) on 13-16th July to attend ACL 2018 and DeepLo from 16-19th July. Thank you to all those who responded so generously. We are hopeful that we shall not only have the opportunity to present our work in this key research forum but there will also be opportunity to learn more about other initiatives in support of low-resource languages from amongst the wider research community.
This is a punishing schedule but these two events will be key for the project in terms both of wider support and future research directions.