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EU seeks help to improve its e-Translation solutions

Matteo Natalucci Published 23 October 2017

The EU is using AI powered e-Translation solutions to help European public administrations exchange information across language barriers but needs e-language expertise from suppliers

At the Tallinn Digital Summit last month, the EU Council Presidency began using an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered translation tool to enable multilingual communication.

The summit saw twenty-five heads of state and government meet together to discuss e-governance, cybersecurity, digital economy, and the labour market.

The translation tool uses Neural Machine Translation and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) e-Translation to provide secure, instant translation of texts, full documents, and websites.

CEF e-Translation helps European and national public administrations exchange information across language barriers in the EU, by providing machine translation capabilities that will enable all Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) to be multilingual.

The EU Council Presidency translation tool was developed by Tilde with support from the CEF e-Translation building block.

Currently working in Estonian to English translation (and vice-versa), the EU Council Presidency Translator will be further developed for the Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies via the CEF e-Translation building block. The tool will benefit from analysis of its usage at the Estonian presidency and receive regular improvements.

CEF e-Translation builds on the existing machine translation service of the European Commission, MT@EC, developed by the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT). The MT@EC translation engine was produced by the translators of the EU institutions over the past decades and is trained using ‘Euramis’ translation memories, comprising over 1bn sentences in the 24 EU languages.

Grant funding from the CEF Telecom programme, administered by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), is made available annually to the uptake of e-Translation in Europe and support the provision of language resources for CEF e-Translaton.

The EU is looking for projects that aim to facilitate language resource identification, processing and collection in the Member States (e.g. anonymisation, aggregation, alignment, conversion, provision of metadata, negotiations for re-use, dissemination, best practices).

Concerning the core platform, future development of the software should allow the continuation of operations, the completion of the domain adaptation facility, as well as the addition of new components e.g. commercial machine translation software for "difficult" languages that do not reach sufficient quality with the technology used in the MT@EC platform; processing modules to implement linguistic and semantic interoperability for CEF DSIs.

The CEF Telecom grants will support European public administrations and businesses to hook up to the core platforms of the digital services that are the object of the bid calls.

The deadline for the next call  for €6m of funding for CEF e-Translation is November 28.

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