ISCA - International Speech
Communication Association

ISCApad Archive  »  2017  »  ISCApad #231  »  Academic and Industry Notes

ISCApad #231

Sunday, September 10, 2017 by Chris Wellekens

4 Academic and Industry Notes
4-1Announcing the Master of Science in Intelligent Information Systems

Carnegie Mellon University


degree designed for students who want to rapidly master advanced content-analysis, mining, and intelligent information technologies prior to beginning or resuming leadership careers in industry and government. Just over half of the curriculum consists of graduate courses. The remainder provides direct, hands-on, project-oriented experience working closely with CMU faculty to build systems and solve problems using state-of-the-art algorithms, techniques, tools, and datasets. A typical MIIS student completes the program in one year (12 months) of full-time study at the Pittsburgh campus.  Part-time and distance education options are available to students employed at affiliated companies. The application deadline for the Fall 2013 term is December 14, 2012. For more information about the program, please visit


4-2Master in linguistics (Aix-Marseille) France

Master's in Linguistics (Aix-Marseille Université): Linguistic Theories, Field Linguistics and Experimentation TheLiTEx offers advanced training in Linguistics. This specialty focuses Linguistics is aimed at presenting in an original way the links between corpus linguistics and scientific experimentation on the one hand and laboratory and field methodologies on the other. On the basis of a common set of courses (offered within the first year), TheLiTEx offers two paths: Experimental Linguistics (LEx) and Language Contact & Typology (LCT) The goal of LEx is the study of language, speech and discourse on the basis of scientific experimentation, quantitative modeling of linguistic phenomena and behavior. It focuses on a multidisciplinary approach which borrows its methodologies to human physical and biological sciences and its tools to computer science, clinical approaches, engineering etc.. Among the courses offered: semantics, phonetics / phonology, morphology, syntax or pragmatics, prosody and intonation, and the interfaces between these linguistic levels, in their interactions with the real world and the individual, in a biological, cognitive and social perspective. Within the second year, a set of more specialized courses is offered such as Language and the Brain and Laboratory Phonology. LCT aims at understanding the world's linguistic diversity, focusing on language contact, language change and variation (European, Asian and African languages, Creoles, sign language, etc.).. This specialty focuses, from a a linguistic and sociolinguistic perspective, on issues of field linguistics and taking into account both the human and socio-cultural dimension of language (speakers, communities). It also focuses on documenting rare and endangered languages and to engage a reflection on linguistic minorities. This path also provides expertise and intervention models (language policy and planning) in order  to train students in the management of contact phenomena and their impact on the speakers, languages and societies More info at:




A new, one-year Master in Brain and Cognition will begin its activities in the Academic Year 2014-15 in Barcelona, Spain, organized by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (

The core of the master's programme is composed of the research groups at UPF's Center for Brain and Cognition  ( These groups are directed by renowned scientists in areas such as computational neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, vision, multisensory perception, human development and comparative cognition. Students will  be exposed to the ongoing research projects at the Center for Brain and Cognition and will be integrated in one of its main research lines, where they will conduct original research for their final project.

Application period is now open. Please visit the Master web page or contact for further information.


4-4Masters à la Sorbonne (Paris)

Les masters d'Ingénierie de la langue de Paris-Sorbonne, ILGII (R) et IILGI (P), sont maintenant regroupés dans une seule spécialité de la mention Littérature, Philosophie, Linguistique.
Les deux années du master Langue et Informatique apportent des connaissances fondamentales sur la langue et son traitement automatique, sur les interactions langagières et la modélisation des phénomènes paralangagiers, ainsi que sur l'ingénierie des connaissances. Les enseignements de spécialité développent également des savoirs et des savoir-faire : analyse et compréhension de textes ; reconnaissance et synthèse de la parole ; sciences affectives et systèmes de dialogue ; résumé et traduction assistés par ordinateur; extraction et construction des connaissances ; intelligence économique. Les enseignements méthodologiques du tronc commun de la mention permettent d'articuler ces enseignements spécialisés avec ce qui relève de l'épistémologie de la littérature, de la philologie et de la linguistique. Ce master comporte deux parcours : un parcours professionnel « Ingénierie de la Langue pour la Société Numérique (ILSN) »  et un parcours recherche « Informatique, Langue et Interactions (ILI) ». La différenciation entre les deux parcours se fait au semestre 4.



4-5New Masters in Machine Learning, Speech and Language Processing at Cambridge University, UK
New Masters in Machine Learning, Speech and Language Processing
This is a new twelve-month full-time MPhil programme offered by the Computational and Biological Learning Group (CBL) and the Speech Group in the Cambridge University Department of Engineering, with a unique, joint emphasis on both machine learning and on speech and language technology. The course aims: to teach the state of the art in machine learning, speech and language processing; to give students the skills and expertise necessary to take leading roles in industry; to equip students with the research skills necessary for doctoral study.
UK and EU students applications should be completed by 9 January 2015 for admission in October 2015. A limited number of studentships may be available for exceptional UK and eligible EU applicants. 

Self-funding students who do not wish to be considered for support from the Cambridge Trusts have until 30 June 2015 to submit their complete applications.

More information about the course can be found here:


4-6SProSIG Bids for Speech prosody 2018



The purpose of the Speech Prosody Special Interest Group (SProSIG) is to promote interest in Speech Prosody; to provide a means of exchanging news of recent research developments and other matters of interest in Speech Prosody; to sponsor meetings and workshops in Speech Prosody that appear to be timely and worthwhile; and to provide and make available resources relevant to Speech Prosody.  SProSIG is a special interest group of ISCA, and of IPA. Our web page is


Membership in SProSIG is obtained by signing up for the mailing list.  The mailing list is currently housed at


All members of SProSIG are allowed to vote on the location of the Speech Prosody conference.  Bids for Speech Prosody 2018 will be presented orally at Speech Prosody 2016, and in written form during June 2016.


SProSIG is administered by officers under the direction of a Permanent Advisory Committee (PAC).  Officers are nominated biennially in August, and elected in September.  Current officers are Keikichi Hirose, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, Hansjörg Mixdorff and Yi Xu.


The founding officers of SProSIG specified services to members including dedicated web pages, an e-mail newsletter, a bibliographic database, workshops and special sessions, and the organization of the international conference Speech Prosody.  The web page has been little updated since 2012, and the newsletter has been dormant far longer; it is our intention to revise both.  Suggestions about content and frequency are welcome, especially if delivered in a friendly tone of voice to any current officer or PAC member at Speech Prosody 2016.

Call for Bids for the hosting of SP9: Speech Prosody 2018


Members of SProSIG with a history of attendance at Speech Prosody conferences are encouraged to submit bids to host SP9: Speech Prosody 2018.  Written bids must be submitted by July 15, 2016 to the SProSIG Secretary, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, at  All written bids received by that date will be posted at  The full membership of SProSIG will then be invited to read the written bids, and an on-line vote will be held to determine the location of SP9.  A written bid may contain any information that you believe is likely to sway the members of SProSIG, but must contain at least the following information:


City and Country in which the conference will be held: 


General Chair (Name, Affiliation, and a list of Speech Prosody conferences that he or she has attended):


Organizing Committee Members (Same information as above):


Proposed conference period: DD/MM/YYYY – DD/MM/YYYY


Expected early registration fee for ISCA members:


Contractor (University, Company, and/or Contractor organizing the conference; this can be changed later if necessary):


Venue (name of hotel, conference center, university etc.  Can be changed later if it necessary):


Access to the venue from the closest major airport  (Is it easy for participants to reach the venue?):


Accommodation (a rough idea on number of near-by hotels and their prices.  If organizers plan to offer university dormitories for participants, please mention with some information.):


Scientific Theme of Speech Prosody 2018 (if any):


Other points to be emphasized (if any):




4-7New funding opportunity at iARPA
Dear Speech Scientist:
IARPA would like to announce a new funding opportunity involving speech recognition, information retrieval, summarization, domain adaptation and machine translation of low resource languages -- the forthcoming MATERIAL Program.

A Proposers' Day for MATERIAL will occur in the DC area on Sept. 27, 2016. A formal solicitation for proposals is expected to follow the Proposers' Day. Please note that registration for this event closes on Sept. 20.

To register for this event, please visit:


The MATERIAL performers will develop an 'English-in, English-out' information retrieval system that, given a domain-sensitive English query, will retrieve relevant speech and text data from a large multilingual repository and display the retrieved information in English in a summary format. MATERIAL queries will consist of two parts: a domain specification and an English word (or string of words) that capture the information need of an English-speaking user, e.g., 'zika virus' in the domain of GOVERNMENT vs. 'zika virus' in the domain of HEALTH, or 'asperger's syndrome' in the domain of EDUCATION vs. 'asperger's syndrome' in the domain of SCIENCE. The English summaries produced by the system should convey the relevance of the retrieved information to the domain-limited query to enable an English-speaking user to determine whether the document meets the information needs of the query.

Current methods to produce similar technologies require a substantial investment in training data and/or language specific development and expertise, entailing many months or years of development. A goal of this program is to drastically decrease the time and data needed to field systems capable of fulfilling an English-in, English out task. Limited machine translation and automatic speech recognition training data will be provided from multiple low resource languages to enable performers to learn how to quickly adapt their methods to a wide variety of materials in various genres and domains. As the program progresses, performers will apply and adapt these methods in increasingly shortened time frames to new languages. Program data will include formal and informal genres of text and speech which will not be fully captured by the training data. Image and video are out of scope for this program.

Performers will be evaluated, relative to a baseline system, on their ability to accurately retrieve text and speech materials relevant to an English domain-specific query from a database of multi-domain, multi-genre documents in a low resource language, and their ability to convey the relevance of those documents through summaries presented to English speaking domain experts.

To develop such an end-to-end system, large multi-disciplinary teams will be required with expertise in a number of relevant technical areas including, but not limited to, natural language processing, low resource languages, machine translation, corpora analysis, domain adaptation, computational linguistics, speech recognition, language identification, semantics, summarization, information retrieval, and machine learning. Since language-independent approaches with quick ramp up time are sought, foreign language expertise in the languages of the program is not expected. IARPA anticipates that universities and companies from around the world will participate in this research program. Researchers will be encouraged to publish their findings in publicly-available, academic journals.


For updated information on the program, please visit:


4-8Bids for ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) 2018

ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) is the premier international forum for multidisciplinary research on multimodal human-human and human-computer interaction, interfaces, and system development. The conference focuses on theoretical and empirical foundations, component technologies, and combined multimodal processing techniques that define the field of multimodal interaction analysis, interface design, and system development.


              ICMI Steering Board invites proposals to host the 20th Annual Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI 2018), to be held in a between the end of September and mid-November 2018. We seek preliminary draft proposals from bidders in the North or South American continents (ICMI 2016 is in Tokyo, Japan and ICMI 2017 will be in Glasgow, UK), although strong proposals from other regions are also welcome. Promising bidders will be asked to provide additional information for the final selection.


              Please see the attached document for more details about ICMI 2018 bid process.


Important Dates


  • December 21, 2016 - Notify intention to submit proposal
  • January 27, 2017 - Draft proposals due
  • February 10, 2017 - Feedback to bidders
  • February 24, 2017 - Final bids due
  • March 17, 2017 - Bid selected


ICMI 2016 and 2017 websites




              All communications, including request for information and bid submission, should be sent to the ICMI Steering Board Chair (Louis-Philippe Morency,


Best wishes,

Louis-Philippe Morency

Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Director, Multimodal Communication and Machine Learning Laboratory

Chair, ACM ICMI Steering Board




The Steering Board of the ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) invites proposals to host the 20th Annual Conference, to be held in a between the end of September and mid-November 2018. We seek preliminary draft proposals from bidders in the North or South American continents (ICMI 2016 is in Tokyo, Japan and ICMI 2017 will be in Glasgow, UK), although strong proposals from other regions are also welcome. Promising bidders will be asked to provide additional information for the final selection.


Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria (unordered):

Experience and reputation of General Chairs and Program Chairs

Local multimodal interaction community support

(Local) government and industry support

Support and opportunities for students

Accessibility and attractiveness of proposed site

Suitability of proposed dates (with list of specific conflicts to avoid)

Adequacy of conference facilities for the anticipated number of attendees

Adequacy of accommodations and food services in a range of price categories and close to the conference facilities

Overall balance of budget projections

Geographical balance with regard to previous ICMI meetings


All communications, including request for information and bid submission, should be sent to the ICMI Steering Board Chair (Louis-Philippe Morency,

Important Dates

December 21, 2016 - Notify intention to submit proposal

January 27, 2017 - Draft proposals due

February 10, 2017 - Feedback to bidders

February 24, 2017 - Final bids due

March 17, 2015 - Bid selected


Bid Content

The following questions have to be answered for the official bid (both draft and final proposals). Text in square brackets [] contains considerations to be taken into account.

1. Describe briefly the conference, including side events

2. Describe briefly the conference site.

3. What date do you consider?

4. What is the nearest (international) airport?

5. Please give price quotes for the cheapest roundtrip to the conference location from Frankfurt, London, New York, San Francisco, Beijing and Tokyo (assume one week of travel with a Saturday overnight stay)

6. What transportation should participants use from the airport to the conference site?

7. Does the conference site both have a large room for a maximum of 300 people and about 5 smaller rooms for a maximum of 30-70 people? Is there wireless connection available for attendees? What about audio-visual facilities?

8. What is the approximate room rate (single and double occupancy)? Is breakfast included? [Often all the attendees of ICMI stay at the same hotel. If this is your case, the conference chair should find a hotel that allows accommodation for the expected number of people. Booking rooms and meals in the same hotel as the conference rooms often helps reducing the overall costs.]

9. Catering, including breaks, receptions, banquet and entertainment. We encourage organizers to provide coffee breaks and lunches in order to promote community building and discussion

10. Which support can your department give for the organization of the conference (e.g., free secretarial assistance, facilities for on-line payment?

11. Which support can your department give during the conference (e.g., free secretarial assistance, PCs / Macs at the conference site)?

12. What are your plans for sponsorship? To which associations / companies / institutions do you plan to apply for financial assistance? What do you realistically expect to receive from them? What are your plans concerning student travel stipend program [A minimum of $5,000 should be reserved from each year's conference budget to support student travel from each of the three major geographic regions (Americas, Europe-Africa, Asia-Pacific), or $15,000 total. For example, if a grant for $15,000 is obtained from NSF to support U.S. student travel but there is no external funding for students from other continents, then an additional $10,000 of you budget should be set aside for students from the other two continents]

13. What actions will you take to make the conference cheaper for students? (e.g., seek financial support from other organizations, provide cheaper rooms)? What reduction do you realistically expect?

14. Provide the names of people who are foreseen or confirmed for the major Conference Committees:

General Chairs, Program Chairs, Sponsorship Chair; volunteer labor, registration handling. Describe any experience the team has had in organizing previous conferences and the number of participants at those conferences

15. Local Multimodal Interaction community

16. How do you propose to run the paper reviewing process? Do you see any possible improvements?

17. How will you organize the content of the conference to ensure a high-quality and energetic exchange of information that includes timely topics and stimulating external speakers? Please be specific in your suggestions for how you would organize the main program and workshops/tutorials

18. Any other aspects that you may find relevant for the evaluation of your proposal

Preparing a budget proposal

Based on estimates from previous attendance, one might expect 200 participants to ICMI. Please, provide two budgets, one for 150 participants and the other for 200. Costs that will have to be covered include:

Rental of conference space and meeting rooms

AV equipment

Coffee breaks and possibly lunch

Registration desk/technical helpers (e.g., student volunteers)


Producing and printing the proceedings

ACM 18% contribution and contingency fund

Conference poster and advertising

Social dinner

Welcome reception

Dinner/lunch for ICMI board meeting



4-10ASVspoof 2017 CHALLENGE: Audio replay detection for automatic speaker verification anti-spoofing

  ASVspoof 2017 CHALLENGE:
  Audio replay detection for automatic speaker verification anti-spoofing


  Are you good at machine learning for audio signals? Are you good at
  discriminating 'fake' signals from authentic ones? Are you looking for new
  audio processing challenges? Do you work in the domain of speaker recognition?
  ASVspoof 2017 challenge might be for you!


  Given a short clip of speech audio, determine whether it contains
  a GENUINE human voice (live recording), or a REPLAY recording (fake).

  You will be provided a development set containing genuine/replay labeled audio
  examples, along with further metadata such as speech content and the devices
  used in the replay recordings. Your task is to develop a system that assigns a
  single 'liveness' or 'genuineness' score value to new audio samples, and to
  execute that system on a set of test files for which the ground truth is not
  provided. We provide a Matlab-based reference baseline method to kick-off
  quickly towards developing your new ideas!

  For more details, refer to the evaluation plan in the website:


  The goal of the challenge series is to enhance security of automatic speaker
  verification (ASV) systems from being intentionally circumvented using fake
  recordings, also known as 'spoofing attacks' or 'representation attacks' in
  the context of biometrics. ASVspoof 2017 is a second edition of a challenge
  kicked off in 2015, and the new perspective in ASVspoof 2017 are the replay
  attacks, especially 'unseen' attacks - for instance, containing replay
  environments, devices and speakers that might be very different from those in
  the development data.

  Despite 'ASV' being in the challenge title, you do NOT require knowledge
  of automatic speaker verification: the task is a 'standalone' replay audio
  detection task that can be addressed as a generic acoustic pattern classification
  problem. We welcome as many new ideas to the problem as possible!


  Development data published:   December 23rd, 2016
  Evaluation data published:    February 10, 2017
  Evaluation set scores due:    February 24, 2017
  Results available:            March 3, 2017
  Interspeech paper deadline:   March 14, 2017
  Metadata/keys published:      May 2017
  Interspeech special session:  August 2017


  Send a free-worded e-mail to
  to register and obtain the dev data.


  Tomi Kinnunen, University of Eastern Finland, FINLAND
  Nicholas Evans, Eurecom, FRANCE
  Junichi Yamagishi, University of Edinburgh, UK
  Kong Aik Lee, Institute for Infocomm Research, SINGAPORE
  Md Sahidullah, University of Eastern Finland, FINLAND
  Massimiliano Todisco, Eurecom, FRANCE
  Hector Delgado, Eurecom, FRANCE

4-11Communication from ELRA

Press Release ? Immediate
Paris, France, January 16, 2017

The Institute for Applied Linguistics (IULA) at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) adopts the International Standard Language Resource Number (ISLRN) initiative

The Institute for Applied Linguistics (IULA) at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is now a certified provider to the ISLRN system. This means that IULA can apply for ISLRNs on behalf of the developers of the data that is managed and distributed via the IULA network. IULA has already submitted 107 language resources to the ISLRN. These include monolingual and multilingual written corpora and lexica for the languages spoken in Spain (Aragonese, Asturian, Basque, Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician), as well as other European languages (English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Occitan, Portuguese, Romanian), and Esperanto. The meta-information for these language resources is also available on the ISLRN website with a broad international audience.

As part of an international effort to document and archive the various language resource development efforts around the world, a system of assigning ISLRNs was established in November 2013. The ISLRN is a unique ?persistent identifier? to be assigned to each language resource. The establishment of ISLRNs was a major step in the networked and shared world of human language technologies. Unique resources must be identified as they are, and meta-catalogues require a common identification format to manage data correctly. Therefore, language resources should carry identical identification schemes independent of their representations, whatever their types and wherever their physical locations (on hard drives, internet or intranet) (

About IULA
The Institute for Applied Linguistics (IULA), created in 1994 at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, is a research and training center that gets together about 50 researchers. The group IULA Technologies of Language Resources (TRL) is working on the creation, development and application of technologies related to the acquisition, production, management, validation and evaluation of Language Resources as required by Language Technologies applications such as Machine Translation, Information Extraction, Text Analytics, etc. Resources produced by TRL are licensed under Creative Commons and they are available for direct download at UPF's eRepository (   

To find out more about IULA and UPF, please visit the following websites: and

About ELRA
The European Language Resources Association (ELRA) is a non-profit-making organisation founded by the European Commission in 1995, with the mission of providing a clearing house for language resources and promoting human language technologies. To find out more about ELRA, please visit the website:



4-12Master Informatique en Apprentissage et Traitement Automatique de la Langue : ATAL. Universités du Maine et de Nantes France
Les Universités du Maine et de Nantes propose un parcours conjoint de Master Informatique en Apprentissage et Traitement Automatique de la Langue : ATAL !

Le parcours ATAL forme des étudiants issus de filières informatiques à un ensemble de techniques d'apprentissage automatique et de traitement automatique de la langue qui sont au c?ur des applications en ingénierie des langues telles que la traduction automatique, la fouille d?opinions, la recherche d?information, la reconnaissance de la parole et du locuteur? Il s'agit donc de former des étudiants hautement spécialisés qui seront capables de mettre en ?uvre des applications prenant en compte des masses de données complexes et hétérogènes. Au terme de la formation les étudiants seront reconnus comme DataScientist, Chef de projet en ressources linguistiques, Cadre en technologies et services de l?information? 

La formation s?appuie sur des chercheurs issus des laboratoires du LS2N (Laboratoire des Sciences du Numérique de Nantes) et du LIUM (Laboratoire d'Informatique de l'Université du Maine) et sur des acteurs économiques dont les applications nécessitent des connaissances sur le traitement de données langagières. En outre, la formation est très ancrée dans son écosystème régional et les étudiants seront invités à participer à des Meetup et sensibilisés au monde de l?entrepreneuriat. 

Il est possible d?accéder à la formation en M1 comme en M2 selon les acquis du candidat. 
- le M1 peut être indifféremment réalisé au Mans ou à Nantes selon la préférence de l?étudiant. 
- l?ensemble des cours du M2 sont mutualisés entre les Universités du Maine et de Nantes et l?étudiant peut librement s?inscrire au Mans ou à Nantes. Le M2 peut être réalisée en présentiel ou en alternance.

- Nantes :
- Le Mans:
Modalités d?accès
- Nantes :
- Le Mans :

- Nantes : 
- Le Mans :

4-13News from ELRA (February 2017)

Dear ELRA Member,

Here is the latest news about the most noteworthy activities conducted at ELRA and ELDA in February 2017. We would like to remind you that we welcome your suggestions and comments on the topics presented below, and on any other topic you would like to include in the next bulletins.

1.1.    Membership

For the period from 1st to 28th February 2017, the total number of paid up members is 25.

1.2.    Membership Drive
As a follow-up of the September 2016 meeting, a brainstorming meeting on the ELRA membership drive and related ELRA services took place on 31st January 2017 in Paris with Nicoletta Calzolari, Nick Campbell, Khalid Choukri, Henk van den Heuvel and Joseph Mariani. A report will be drafted and shared with the ELRA Board and members by Spring 2017.

1.3.    LREC 2018
Mi-February, the First Call for Papers was published on and circulated on the mailing lists and on Twitter (@LREC2018, #LREC2018). It was also sent to all the LREC 2016 participants. The 11th edition of LREC will be held on May 7-12, 2018 in Miyazaki, Japan. A temporary web page has been set up at and will be updated until the publication of the permanent web site.

We are happy to announce that 1 new Evaluation Package is now available in our catalogue.

ELRA-E0046 ETAPE Evaluation Package
ISLRN: 425-777-374-455-4

The ETAPE Evaluation Package consists of ca. 30 hours of radio and TV data, selected to include mostly non planned speech and a reasonable proportion of multiple speaker data. All data were carefully transcribed, including named entity annotation.
This package includes the material that was used for the ETAPE evaluation campaign. It includes resources, scoring tools, results of the campaign, etc., that were used or produced during the campaign. The aim of this evaluation package is to enable external players to evaluate their own system and compare their results with those obtained during the campaign itself.
For more information, see:

For more information on the catalogue, please contact Valérie Mapelli
If you would like to enquire about having your resources distributed by ELRA, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Visit our On-line Catalogue:
Visit the Universal Catalogue:
Archives of ELRA Language Resources Catalogue Updates:

2.1.    ISLRN
This month, the following resources have been allocated ISLRN.



SALA II US English database (2000 speakers)


ETAPE Evaluation Package


A multilingual, multi-style and multi-granularity dataset for cross-language textual similarity detection


First-Year Law Students' Court Memoranda


GALE Phase 3 Arabic Broadcast News Speech Part 2


GALE Phase 3 Arabic Broadcast News Transcripts Part 2


IARPA Babel Haitian Creole Language Pack IARPA-babel201b-v0.2b


3.1.    Production Projects

Sentiment annotation in French tweets
ELDA has started a big annotation project consisting in deep sentiment and opinion tagging of tweets in the French language. Several annotators have been hired and work has already been undertaken. On this occasion, several natural language processing and data validation tools developed at ELDA for previous projects are being re-used to leverage the productivity of the annotation team and to improve the quality of the annotations.
In february, ELDA pursued its activities in the French tweet opinion annotation project and made several deliveries, to the full satisfaction of the customer.

3.2.    Projects
CRACKER (Cracking the Language Barrier: Coordination, Evaluation and Resources for European MT Research)
CRACKER is a Coordination and Support Action under the H2020 Programme from the European Commission. This action has just started and has held its kick-off meeting in Berlin last February 10th, meeting which has been organised by its coordinator Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH (DFKI). The other members of the Consortium are:  Charles University of Prague (CUNI), Czech Republic; Evaluations and Language Resources Distribution Agency SA (ELDA), France; Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Italy; Athena Research and Innovation Center in Information, Communication and Knowledge Technologies (ATHENA RC), Greece; University of Edinburgh (UEDIN), UK, and University of Sheffield (USFD), UK.
CRACKER aims at providing planned coordination and support to the European machine translation research community, which is suffering from the pressure of the current challenges and needs of the Digital Single Market.
ELDA decided to undertake META-SHARE upgrades again, by working in close cooperation with the ILSP. The first step is to merge ELDA and ILSP's contributions and to publish them on the META-SHARE GitHub repository.

CEF Language Resource Coordination
The SMART 2014/1074 Language Resource Coordination, funded by the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) programme, was launched during the Riga Summit, held late April 2015 in Latvia. The objectives of this 2-year project are to:
?    improve availability and simplify access to language resources (LRs) relevant for MT,
?    establish an observatory for language resources across EU Member States and CEF associated countries,
?    raise awareness among stakeholders about the value and use of data for automated translation
?    clarify legal and commercial issues related to the data.
Targeted data are those produced by the public sector in the EU, which can be made available for re-use through the EU Open Data portal, with suitable copyright protection.
The project is coordinated by Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH (DFKI) and the other members of the European Language Resources Coordination Consortium (ELRC) are ELRA, TILDE, ILSP and TAUS.
Eight tasks have been specified for this programme and ELDA will lead three of them including the setup the technical Helpdesk (T2), the organization of 30+ training workshops (T6) and the Language Resources collection (T7).
In February, ELDA continued its main activities regarding the production and validation of data, the upgrading of the data processing and packaging tools, as well as discussions with potential donators. Specific effort was dedicated to 1) updating the validation guidelines and drafting a validation report template to be exploited in the coming validation phase, 2) running a deeper analysis of legal issues with respect to donated data as well as the supporting of partners in drafting specific user agreements with donators, and 3) maintaining and upgrading the crawled data management toolkit, mainly to enhance the manual validation integration, and to allow the toolkit to be used for donated data handling and validation.
The ELRC website provides information on the project and access to services such as the Helpdesk can be found at

European Language Resource Coordination +
Following the work of the European Language Resource Coordination (ELRC) action ( within CEF.AT, the European Commission has launched two further actions under the same principles and also within the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Programme:
?    SMART 2015/1091 Tools and Resources for CEF Automated Translation Lot 2 (ELRC+2)
?    SMART 2015/1091 Tools and Resources for CEF Automated Translation Lot 3 (ELRC+3)
Both of them are 3-year actions and their inception meetings with the European Commission took place on January 17th, 2017, in Luxembourg.

European Language Resource Coordination +2 (ELRC+2)
The inception meeting of the European Language Resource Coordination +2 (ELRC+2) took place at the EC premises in Luxembourg, with the participation of the ELRC+2 Consortium, namely, ELDA (France), DFKI (Germany), ILSP (Greece) and TILDE (Latvia), as well as representatives of DG Connect and DG Translation from the EC.
The goals of this 3-year project are to:
?    set up and operate a repository to host Language Resources to support MT systems within CEF Automated Translation platform;
?    set up and operate an intellectual property rights (IPR) support and clearance desk for Language Resources;
?    complement and continue Language Resource coordination activities undertaken by ELRC service contract (SMART 2014/1074), such as improving the availability of LRs held by the public sector, establishing an observatory for LRs across EU Member States and CEF associated countries and raising awareness among public data holders of the value of LRs for MT.
The project, which will be coordinated by DFKI, comprises ten tasks. ELDA will be leading three of them:
?    the technical helpdesk (T3),
?    the legal helpdesk (T4)
?    the IPR Clearance of 200 LRs (T5).
In February the consortium finalized the inception report, which further specifies the methodology, agreed progress indicators, resources and objectives in accordance with the feedback provided by the EC during the inception meeting. Within T8 (country-specific workshops) the consortium produced a draft for a workshop concept and master agenda to be approved by the EC. ELRC+2 workshops constitute the second round of ELRC reach-out activities. The main novelty of this new series of workshops lies in the reinforcement of the policy-level component targeting decision-makers, as well as in the introduction of a hands-on session for data holders and potential contributors.
Fortnightly web conferences with the EC have continued to take place in order to discuss topics such as the involvement of DGT in ELRC activities and the organisation of the ELRC conference (T7) to be held before the end of 2017.

European Language Resource Coordination +3 (ELRC+3)

ELRC+3 counts on the ELRC Consortium Members as partners of the present action: Tilde (coordinator - Latvia), ELDA (France), DFKI (Germany) and ILSP (Greece). The main objective of ELRC+3 is to continue the ELRC's ongoing work in helping the EC obtain resources for the training and optimization of the CEF Automated Translation platform, for the CEF languages, and in domains of interest to the CEF Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs). For that purpose, this action aims to identify, collect, clear, produce, process and make available further resources to the EC.
In this context, ELDA will be leadering the following activities:
?    Adaptation of the existing ELRC database of sources, revising and customising it for the new needs and requirements.
?    Identification of licensing conditions and right holder(s) for the new resources.
?    Dissemination activities, also in support of the ELRC+2 action.
?    Anonymisation of language resource databases: this will depend on the requirements of the language resource stakeholders and regulations on personal data protection.
?    Validation of language resources and their metadata, which implies the quality evaluation of each deliverable language resource (both monolingual and parallel).
?    Clearing of IPRs and other legal issues that may arise for the data collected.
In February, the Inception report has been reviewed by the European Commission (EC) during February and its final version is under preparation for March, following EC's recommendations. In the meantime, work has started for the different tasks, in particular concerning the identification and processing of an initial batch of language resources. With regard to dissemination, the ELRC website is going to be enhanced so as to welcome the needs of the new ELRC+2 and ELRC+3 projects. Discussion has also started on the new on-site assistance instrument that is defined to take place within the project. This assistance is intended to go beyond that currently offered within ELRC, supporting data owners with their technical questions related to data processing and provision.


4-14Enquête AFCP: Ecole d'hiver 2018 sur l'analyse statistique des données phonétiques

L'AFCP (Association Francophone de la Communication Parlée) souhaite organiser une école d'Hiver en Janvier 2018 sur le thème de l'analyse statistique des données phonétiques. Nous menons une enquête pour évaluer la population intéressée par cette proposition. Si c'est votre cas, merci de prendre 2mn pour remplir le questionnaire suivant :


4-15Creation of Yajie Miao Memorial Student Travel Grants
Creation of Yajie Miao Memorial Student Travel Grants
As many readers might already know, Yajie Miao, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon?s Language Technology Institute, successfully defended his thesis on ?Incorporating Context Information into Deep Neural Network Acoustic Models? in August 2016.
He had accepted a position at Microsoft in Redmond, and was set to start work there in October 2016. It is with a heavy heart that we announce that he died tragically, while visiting his family in China, before he was able to do so.
In fond memory of Yajie and his work, his colleagues and friends at Carnegie Mellon and Microsoft, in consultation with his family, have decided to set up a Memorial Student Travel Grant, which will support additional student travel to Interspeech and other speech conferences in the coming years.
More information on Yajie and the opportunity to support these travel grants can be found at

4-16Bid for the 10th International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval, ICMR 2020

Dear Sir or Madam,

It is with great pleasure that we write to invite you to host the 10th International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval, ICMR 2020 conference (sponsored by the ACM SIGMM).

ACM ICMR is the premier scientific conference for multimedia retrieval.  Its mission is to provide a forum to discuss, promote and advance the state-of-the-arts in multimedia retrieval by bringing together researchers and practitioners in the field. It is thus essential to ensure that the conference includes sessions for presenting high-quality research papers and for sharing practitioner experience.

We expect ICMR2020 to be held in Europe.
Parties interested in hosting ICMR2020 are invited to submit their proposals (20 pages or less) by Friday, 20 October 2017 by email with the subject line: ICMR2020 to the steering committee chair, Prof Tat-Seng CHUA,

The detail guideline for potential conference hosts is attached to this mail.

We are looking forward to your proposals.

Sincerely yours,

Zhao Na (on behalf of Prof. Tat-seng CHUA)
School of Computing
National University of Singapore


4-17Proposal for ICASSP 2023

Prepare your Proposal for ICASSP 2023

As a reminder, IEEE Signal Processing Society is accepting proposals in all regions for the 2023 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP).

ICASSP is the world?s largest and most comprehensive technical conference focused on signal processing applications.  The series is sponsored by the IEEE Signal Processing Society and has been held annually since 1976.  The conference features world-class speakers, tutorials, exhibits, and over 170 lecture and poster sessions.  ICASSP is a cooperative effort of the IEEE Signal Processing Technical Committees:

  • Audio and Acoustic Signal Processing
  • Bio Imaging and Signal Processing
  • Design and Implementation of Signal Processing Systems
  • Image, Video, and Multidimensional Signal Processing
  • Information Forensics and Security
  • Machine Learning for Signal Processing
  • Multimedia Signal Processing
  • Sensor Array and Multichannel
  • Signal Processing Education
  • Signal Processing for Communications and Networking
  • Signal Processing Theory and Methods
  • Speech and Language Processing
  • Standing Committee on Industry DSP Technology

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please review the proposal guidelines. The next step is to send a notice of intent, containing the proposed dates and location along with your contact information, to the VP-Conferences and SPS Staff at  

After submitting the notice of intent, you will receive a proposal prescreening form, which must be completed and received by 8 November 2017 to and will be assessed by the Conference Board Executive Subcommittee.  Accepted bidding teams [finalists] will be invited to present at the Conference Board meeting held at ICASSP 2018, 22-27 April 2018 in Seoul, South Korea


4-18Communication from ELRA/ELDA

Can you develop new tools for eInvoicing or Open Data? Learn how to get EU support at CEF Telecom online Info Day!

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom virtual Info Day will take place on Tuesday 12 September 2017.


Four priorities of the 2017 CEF Telecom call will be presented:



The event will also explain the policy context of the calls. It will give information about the evaluation process and will provide valuable tips & tricks on writing a good proposal.


The eventwill take place via live web streaming and participants can register here.


The draft agenda and further information is available on the event's page.

Interested stakeholders are advised to already mark the date and time in their agendas and to regularly monitor the event pageand @inea_eu or the hashtag #CEFTelecomDay on Twitter for updates. The web streaming link as well as the procedure for the Q&A sessions will be published at a later stage. The event will be tweeted live with the same hashtag.


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