The European Language Technology Landscape in 2020: Language-Centric and Human-Centric AI for Cross-Cultural Communication in Multilingual Europe


Submitted to LREC 2020, May 11-16 2020, Marseille, France

In January 2021, SAIL LABS Technology GmbH was acquired by the sensor specialist HENSOLDT and became HENSOLDT Analytics.

HENSOLDT Analytics’ contribution to this research paper is connected to its participation in the H2020 project ELG – European Language Grid, under grant agreement no. 825627.

ABSTRACT: Multilingualism is one of the main cultural cornerstones of Europe and firmly anchored in the European treaties including full language equality. However, language barriers impacting business, cross-lingual and cross-cultural communication and many other areas are still omnipresent. Language Technologies (LTs) are a powerful mean to break down these barriers. While the last decade has seen various initiatives and projects that created a multitude of approaches and technologies tailored to Europe’s specific needs, there is still an immense level of fragmentation in the European LT landscape. At the same time, Artificial Intelligence has become an increasingly important concept in the European Information and Communication Technology area. For a few years now, AI – including many opportunities, synergies but also misconceptions – has been overshadowing every other topic. In this article, we present an overview of the European LT landscape, describing funding programmes, activities, actions and challenges in the different countries with regard to LT including the current state of play in the industry and the LT market. We also present a brief overview of the main LT-related activities on the EU level in the last ten years and provide strategic guidance with regard to four key dimensions.

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