BBN Works to Improve Rapid Foreign Language Processing

Today, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is in the final year of the five-year Global Autonomous Language Exploitation (GALE) program, awarded Raytheon's BBN Technologies subsidiary, a company that specializes in the domestic security, defense, and government markets, $17 million dollars in funding to advance its efforts in rapid foreign language processing. Last year, DARPA allocated $14 million toward the GALE program, and previous work has focused largely on the automatic translation of Arabic news.

GALE's primary goal is to develop software that will translate and transcribe audio and text into various languages. TBBN hopes to achieve 90 percent accuracy by the end of the year. In particular, BBN is going to continue its work on translating Arabic and Chinese news sources. 

BBN is working to improve a previous translation system that uses multiple systems to combine output transcriptions and translations, which BBN asserts is better than any of the component system translations. BBN's team also attempts to optimize translation by using an automatic adaption and contextually aware processing at every system level. The team states that this technique is effective across different languages, topics, dialects, speakers, and nuances in individual speech.

"DARPA's GALE program is already responsible for many great advances in machine translation, and BBN has deployed systems for monitoring live broadcasts in foreign languages in more than two dozen locations," said Tad Elmer, president of Raytheon BBN technologies. in a statement, "This new funding will allow us to achieve an even higher level of machine translation accuracy."

"Based in part on GALE technology, BBN has successfully built and marketed a system for monitoring foreign broadcasts and Web sources that are translated automatically into English," says John Makhoul, chief scientist and principal investigator on BBN's GALE program team. "The system has been deployed in over 28 sites worldwide. We expect further commercialization of GALE technology in the near future." 

SpeechTek Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues