The five-year award is worth $7.1 million and was given by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for Phase 1 of the Broad Operational Language Translation program, an international initiative for new language technologies.
The SRI-led research team includes researchers and engineers from Columbia University's Engineering School, Queens College City University of New York, the University of Edinburgh, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology R&D Corp. Ltd., Estuate Inc., Oregon Health and Sciences University, University of Washington, University of Rochester, University of Massachusetts, Aix-Marseille University/National Center for Scientific Research and University of Texas at Dallas.
"Machine translation technology has made major progress over the past decade," said Jing Zheng, leader of SRI's BOLT initiative and program director in SRI's Speech Technology and Research Laboratory. "Now we will work on fundamental breakthroughs to move from memorizing the surface forms of language to understanding the underlying meanings."
SRI said BOLT aims is to develop systems that accurately translate foreign languages and extract information in all mediums and in all genre, instant interpretation and clarification for bilingual conversations.