ISCA - International Speech
Communication Association

ISCApad Archive  »  2021  »  ISCApad #277  »  Academic and Industry Notes

ISCApad #277

Saturday, July 10, 2021 by Chris Wellekens

4 Academic and Industry Notes
4-1M.Sc. Program in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Data Science, Université de Lorraine, Nancy (France)

M.Sc. Program in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Data Science
Université de Lorraine, Nancy (France)

The Institute of Digital Sciences, Management and Cognition
is opening a Masters Program in NLP - ??
Computer Science, Speech, Language and Knowledge Representation


So you want to be a specialist in Neural Networks, Logic, Speech
Processing, Information Retrieval, Knowledge Representation... all
for Natural Language? Well, now's your chance!

Natural Language Processing (NLP) lies at the crossroads of
linguistics, computer science and artificial intelligence. This
Masters Program offers a modern curriculum which combines the
different approaches, and covers both theoretical and applied

In each semester, the program includes a hands-on project.
It ends with a 6-month paid internship in a company or a research
lab. You can find the course description below.

You can apply to directly enter at either the first year (M1) or second year (M2) level.

All courses are taught in English
(except the 'French for non-native speakers' class).

The University of Lorraine is publicly funded and thus offers
tuition-free education for many students including students
from the EU (243 ? cost per year). The tuition fee for students
from other nations arriving in France at the beginning of
the 2019 academic year will be 3.770 ? per year.

Find more information here:

Nancy?s high quality of life goes hand-in-hand with a low cost
of living.

Why Nancy?
Nancy is a center of excellence for NLP. It can boast of:

1/Two important research units:
- LORIA, the computer science research laboratory
- ATILF the linguistic research laboratory

Both research units participate in many national and
international research projects. Their members are highly
visible in the international community and regularly publish
in the most prestigious conferences and journals of the field.

2/ Two Erasmus Mundus Masters funded by the European Union :
- Erasmus Mundus Master Language and Communication
Technology (LCT)
- Erasmus Mundus Master EMLex.

Why NLP?
Natural Language Processing is a rapidly expanding field.

With the proliferation of digital data, there is a massive need
for well-trained engineers and researchers able to exploit this
data for commercial (for example: e-commerce, recommender
systems and translation) and socio-political (for example:
e-learning, opinion mining, and behavioural predictions) purposes.

Start-ups, small firms with strong R&D profiles and large companies
(in France this includes Airbus, Thales, EDF, Orange, etc.) are
looking for scientists and engineers who can contribute to the
development of systems capable of managing and exploiting textual

The GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) also recruit
intensively in both the NLP and the Speech processing domain.

There is also a strong need for Ph.D. candidates in the field, as
demonstrated by the many Ph.D. proposals in both the public and
the industrial domain.

Head of the Master program: Maxime Amblard
Secretary: Karine Weisse

Location of the courses:
        École des Mines (Artem Campus, Tram stop 'Blandan')

Non-European students
Students from most non-UE countries shall apply on
(search Traitement Automatique des Langues Nancy)

Students from other non-EU countries can directly apply with the following file:

European students
The application file for EU students is available here:

Create an account then follow:
        - Offre de formation
        - Institut des sciences du digital, management et cognition
        - Master
        - M1-Traitement Automatique des Langues (TAL) (NANCY) (FI)
        - M2-Traitement Automatique des Langues (TAL) PT Informatique, langue, parole et
connaissances (NANCY) (FI)

More information:

Academic Year 2019-2020
From 3rd to 13th September 2019: Refresher courses in
mathematics (probability theory and statistics) and computer
science (algorithms and programming).

        1st semester from September 2nd to January 10th
        2nd semester from January 13th to June 5th
        1st semester from September 2nd to March 27th
        Internship from February to August

In brief
? A program with strong national and international visibility
? Taught entirely in English
? A high quality research environment with two research centers
covering a wide range of disciplines (linguistics, computer
science, speech and language processing) and applications
(human-machine interfaces, speech processing, knowledge
extraction, statistical machine translation, etc.)
? Studies in a vibrant, human-size city

Course Description
M1 Semester 1
        ? Elementary mathematical tools, statistics, algorithms
        to define and solve artificial intelligence problems
        ? Case study approach towards mastering both theoretical
        and practical aspects of a topic

        ? Written corpora
        ? Speech corpora

        ? Collecting, analysing and formalizing customers' needs
        ? Software design and development
        ? Functional analysis and specifications
        ? Project management

        ? Methods for Natural Language Processing
        ? Phonology
        ? Morphology

        ? Hands-on project
        ? Foreign language (French)

M1 Semester 2
        ? Machine learning theory
        ? Data mining
        ? Knowledge extraction

        ? Logic
        ? Formal languages
        ? Calculability and complexity

        ? Storage and retrieval
        ? Data analysis

        ? Lexicology : lexical units and phraseology
        ? Syntax
        ? Semantics

        ? Hands-on project
        ? Scientific communication
        ? Foreign language (French)

M2 Semester 1
        ? Neural Networks, Deep Neural Networks
        ? Data mining (structured data and text)
        ? Collaborative filtering

        ? Processing Textual Data
        ? Speech processing
        ? Terminology and ontology

        ? Application to text
        ? Computational semantics
        ? Discourse and Dialog modeling

        ? Diachronic and synchronic lexicology
        ? Lexical resources
        ? Syntactic framework

        ? Software project
        ? Law and ethics
        ? Research methods
        ? Professional integration
        ? Foreign language (French)

M2 Semester 2
Paid internship (company or research lab)


4-2Delphi consensus survey - Developing reading passages for the assessment of speech and voice (update)

The deadline for participating in the first round of this survey has been postponed to the 15th of September, so as to allow those who are not available during the summer holidays to participate.

The information notice and invitation letter (in English and in French), which also contain the survey link, have been updated and are available here:

Please, feel free to contact me at any time for further information.

Thanking you for your consideration and for your help,
Kind regards,

Timothy Pommée
SLP and PhD student in computer science and telecommunications

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am a speech & language pathologist and PhD student (IRIT, UT3, Toulouse, France), currently conducting a thesis on the clinical relevance of intelligibility measures. In this context, I am interested in collecting the opinions of a large international panel of speech and voice professionals (both clinicians and researchers in the fields of speech pathology, phoniatrics, phonetics, prosody, speech-related computer sciences…), in order to reach a consensus on what criteria have to be taken into account when creating a standard reading passage specifically designed for speech and voice assessment


For this purpose, I will be using the Delphi methodology, an extensively used group survey methodology that is conducted over several (usually three) consecutive rounds and is quasi-anonymous (the identity of each participant is only known to the main investigator/moderator, participants remain anonymous to each other, which allows for freedom of expression without any social or professional pressure from peers). 


This consensus survey, which will be carried out online on LimeSurvey, will be structured as follows: 

    1) Definitions of speech-related concepts*

    2) Perceptual and objective speech measures*

    3) Criteria for creating standard reading passages

*questions in these sections will only be presented to participants with activities in speech and fluency disorders


Attached to this email, you will find a notice containing more information about the project as well as the invitation letter which contains the link to the online survey.


In order for me to collect as many answers as possible, could I ask you kindly to distribute my request to your affiliates? Or to suggest other contact persons?


The deadline to complete the first questionnaire is currently set to 31 August 2020  September 15th, 2020

Here is a link to the updated information notice and invitation letter (in English and in French) which contain the survey link, as well as to the Ethics Committee Approval: 

I thank you very much for your consideration and for your help. 

Please, feel free to contact me at any time for further information.


Kind regards,


Timothy Pommée

SLP and PhD student in computer science and telecommunications





The Steering Board of the ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) invites proposals to host 25th Annual Conference, to be held between the end of September and mid-November 2023. Priority will be given for proposals hosted in Europe or Africa continents.

Strong proposals from other regions are also welcome. ICMI 2018 was in Boulder, Colorado, USA, ICMI 2019 was in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, and ICMI 2020 was recently held as a virtual conference (but originally planned to be in Utrecht, the Netherlands). The bidding process is done in two stages. During the first stage, the initial proposals will be reviewed by the steering committee to identify promising bids and request additional information if necessary. During the second stage, the revised proposals will be reviewed and 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 (Yukiko Nakano,

Important Dates

For ICMI 2023 bids:

January 25, 2021 - Notify intention to submit proposal via email

February 11, 2021 - Draft proposals due

March 1, 2021 - Feedback to bidders

April 5, 2021 - Final bids due

April 26, 2021 - Bid selected

Bid Content

After the notification of intent, the steering board chair will share with you more details, including successful bids from previous years. 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. One of the General Chairs and one of the Program Chairs should be identified as the lead, who will be the main point of contact for the ICMI steering committee. 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 250 participants to ICMI. Please, provide three budgets, one for 150 participants, a second for 200 participants and the last one for 250. 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)

• Tutorials

• Producing and printing the proceedings

• 10% ACM fee

• 15% contingency fund

• Conference poster and advertising

• Social banquet

• Welcome reception

• Lunch for ICMI board meeting


4-4New Master curriculum integrating advanced study and research covering all areas of language science,Univ. of Paris, France

The Paris Graduate School of Linguistics (PGSL) is a newly-formed Paris-area graduate program covering all areas of language science.

It offers a comprehensive Master curriculum integrating advanced study and research, in close connection with PhD programs as well as with the Empirical Foundations of Linguistics consortium. 

Research plays a central part in the program, and students also take elective courses to develop an interdisciplinary outlook. Prior knowledge of French is not required.

For more details, please see

New funding opportunity:

 Application deadline : February 1st 2021 (program starting September 1st 2021)

PGSL is funded by Smarts-UP (Student-centered iMproved, Active Research-based Training Strategy at Université de Paris) through the ANR SFRI grant « Grandes universités de recherche » (PIA3) 2020-2029.


4-5Bids for ICMR 2023

The ICMR Steering Committee invites interested parties to submit proposals to
organize the 13th International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval,
ICMR2023 (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 its related field. It is thus essential
to ensure that the conference includes sessions for presenting high-quality
research papers and for sharing practitioner experience.  The list of
previous ICMRs is at
We expect ICMR2023 to be held in Europe.

Parties interested in hosting ICMR2023 are invited to submit  their
proposals (20 pages or less) by Friday, 26 February 2021 by email with
the subject line: ICMR2023 to the steering committee chair.
The details of CFP is at


4-6ACMMM 2021: Call for Grand Challenge Proposals

ACMMM 2021: Call for Grand Challenge Proposals

ACMMM 2021 is calling for Multimedia Grand Challenge (MGC) Proposals. The purpose of MGC is to engage the multimedia research community by establishing well-defined and objectively judged challenge problems intended to exercise the state-of-the-art methods and inspire future research directions. The key criteria for Grand Challenges are that they should be useful, interesting, and their solution should involve a series of research tasks over a long period of time, with pointers towards longer-term research. First presented in ACMMM 2009, MGC has established itself as a prestigious competition in the multimedia community. This year we emphasize the continuity of the grand challenges, which is important in order to support sustained and substantial progress in the state of the art. Therefore, We ask proposers to express a commitment to run their challenges multiple years in a row.

For MGC proposal guidelines, please see

Submission website: (under the track 'Multimedia Grand Challenge Proposal')

*** Important Dates ****

Submission of Grand Challenge Proposals: 24 January, 2021
Notification of Acceptance: 14 February, 2021
Web Site and Call for Participation Ready: 1 March, 2021
Submission of Grand Challenge Solution Papers: 11 July, 2021

*** Contact ***

For questions regarding the Grand Challenges, please email the MGC Chairs:

Xirong Li (, Renmin University of China, China
Lixin Duan (, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, China
Lu Fang (, Tsinghua University, China
David Brady (, University of Arizona, USA


4-7Projet européen ELE (European Language Equality),

Dans le cadre du projet européen ELE (European Language Equality), qui vise à créer une
feuille de route pour atteindre une égalité linguistique numérique totale en Europe d'ici
2030,  une enquête détaillée concernant le support technologique pour plus de 70 langues
européennes est en cours de réalisation.

Notre contribution porte spécifiquement sur la langue française, et les autres langues
d'Europe, officielles ou non, seront traitées par d'autres groupes, avec un recensement
distinct des ressources.

Si vous fournissez des outils, services ou collections de données linguistiques liés à la
langue française, nous vous serions donc extrêmement reconnaissants de consacrer quelques
minutes à nous aider à identifier un maximum de ressources linguistiques pour le
français. Notez qu'un certain nombre d'enquêtes similaires sont actuellement en cours
pour les autres langues européennes.

Pour ce faire, le plus simple sera de nous signaler par retour de courrier les ressources
produites dans vos équipes que vous souhaitez voir figurer dans cet inventaire, en nous
fournissant par exemple un lien vers une page Web documentant la ou les ressources. Merci
de prendre soin de vérifier au préalable que la ressource n'est pas déjà connue

Nous sommes intéressés par toutes les ressources et technologies linguistiques qui
existent actuellement et sont opérationnelles, quelle que soit la politique d'accès,
telles que:
- les corpus : collections de segments de texte ou de documents bruts ou annotés,
monolingues ou bi-/multilingues, mono- ou multimodaux, transcriptions audio, scripts,
enregistrements audio et vidéo, etc. ainsi que les corpus d'apprenants et les corpus de
langue des signes.
- des descriptions linguistiques, comprenant des modèles de langage et des grammaires
- ressources lexicales/conceptuelles, comprenant des lexiques informatiques, des bases de
données terminologiques, des répertoires, des ontologies, des listes de termes, des
thésaurus, etc.
- des outils et services : services offerts via le web, d'autres réseaux ou fonctionnant
dans le cloud, mais aussi outils téléchargeables, code source, etc. Il s'agit notamment
d'outils de base pour le français (analyseurs morphologiques, tagueurs POS, lemmatiseurs,
analyseurs syntaxiques, etc.), d'outils d'aide à la rédaction (par exemple, correcteurs
d'orthographe, de grammaire et de style), d'outils/services pour la
recherche/extraction/fouille d'informations, l'analyse de texte et de parole, la
traduction automatique, la compréhension et la génération de langue naturelle, les
technologies vocales, les systèmes conversationnels, etc.

Notez que dans le cadre de cette collecte, un certain nombre de ressources répertoriées
dans des catalogues publiquement accessibles ont déja été répertoriées et peuvent être
retrouvées dans le catalogue ELG:

*Il n'est donc pas nécessaire de les documenter à nouveau.*

Vous trouverez de plus amples informations sur le projet à l'adresse suivante :

Si vous avez des questions concernant cette enquête, merci de nous contacter directement.

Merci beaucoup

Gilles Adda, Ioana Vasilescu et François Yvon


4-8'The Zero Resource Speech Challenge 2021 enhanced at NeurIPS 2021'

 The Zero Resource Speech Challenge 2021 enhanced at NeurIPS 2021'

 Dear colleagues,
We are pleased to officially announce the second round of the 2021 Zero Resource Speech Challenge, on spoken language modelling, which will take the form of a competition at NeurIPS. While the benchmark remains the same, this enhanced edition of the challenge introduces some twists, including a new, optional, TRACK 2 on visually grounded spoken language modelling.
We invite:
- New approaches to spoken language models, particularly, but not limited to, larger ('higher-budget') language models
- Systems exploring the utility of weak supervision with images or videos (Track 2)
- Further, substantive development of existing systems doing spoken language modelling, including major modifications to or improvements upon systems submitted in the first, Interspeech round of the challenge
For more detailed information, please see the ZeroSpeech 2021 website:
We are also in the planning stages of a NeurIPS workshop on the general theme of unsupervised and semi-supervised speech, which will be an excellent venue to submit detailed reports on your systems. While the workshop submission deadline has yet to be announced, we expect that it will be in mid-October.
For groups wishing a little extra time to improve their systems after the workshop deadline, the *final* competition submission deadline to be considered for inclusion in the presentation of the results at NeurIPS has been set for November 19th.
Please get in touch with us if you have questions or comments about this continuation of the 2021 Zero Resource Speech Challenge, and we look forward to seeing the results!
The Zero Resource Speech Challenge Organizers


4-9CfP for the 'European Performing Science Night',

Call for participation for the 'European Performing Science Night', a project for the European Research Night

Led by the Fundació Èpica-La Fura dels Baus and with the participation of the LPL (AMU-CNRS-ILCB) and four other partners, a research team will organize several events during the prestigious European Research Night on 24 September 2021, in Badalone (Catalonia). The project - co-financed under the Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions - aims to bring scientists closer to the general public through an innovative language based on the performing arts and new language tools for researchers.


Call for participation open from June 7 to July 15: Open Call September ? EPSN (

Contact at the LPL: Clément François

European Performing Science Night project website: EPSN ? European Performing Science Night (


4-10Covid-19 MLIA @ Eval - Community Evaluation Effort for MultiLingual Information Access (MLIA) on Covid-19

Covid-19 MLIA @ Eval - Community Evaluation Effort for MultiLingual Information Access (MLIA) on Covid-19

******* ROUND II *******
Call for Participation in the Second Evaluation Round: Runs due by 15 September-15 October 2021


Overall Description

Covid-19 MLIA @ Eval organizes a community evaluation effort aimed at accelerating the creation of resources and tools for improved MultiLingual Information Access (MLIA) in the current emergency situation with a reference to a general public use case:
?Sofia has heard that a drug has been experimented in different countries and she would like to have a consolidated and trustworthy view of the main findings, whether the drug is effective or not, and whether there are any adverse effects?.
Distillation for the general public also implies a level of specialist-non-specialist communication, when the aggregated sources contain both disseminative and specialised sources. Therefore, the general public would need to understand medical expertise by using their correspondent in the 'everyday ' language or by using an appropriately calibrated language for the communication to be effective.
Covid-19 MLIA @ Eval adopts an incremental and iterative evaluation methodology to enable the release of intermediate (but functional) resources and to progressively (iteration-after-iteration) move towards finally consolidated tools and resources. We plan for three rounds, tentatively one and half-month long each.

Each round consists of the following phases:

  • data release
  • submission of participants? runs
  • ground-truth creation (when needed)
  • scoring of participants? runs
  • writing of the rolling technical report
  • round wrap virtual meeting

An integral part of the Covid-19 MLIA @ Eval approach is the sharing of information and ideas among the participants. This happens via the rolling technical report where participants describe their solutions as the evaluation rounds progress and the virtual meetings at the end of each round where participants briefly present the main highlights of what worked and what did not work and interactively discuss together in order to share ideas and improve for the next round.

Moreover, to facilitate the exchange of resources and components and to jointly work together for improving MLIA technologies for Covid-19, participants are provided with a dedicated git repository where to push and share the outcomes of your participation in the different rounds, i.e. runs, code, (language) resources, and a technical report. To facilitate sharing and re-use, all the contents of the repositories are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Covid-19 MLIA @ Eval offered the following tasks for its first round and will continue for this second round:

We offer tasks in the following languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Swedish.

Registration for the tasks is open at:

Important Dates -  Second Round

- Registration Opens: 14 June 2021
- Second Round Starts: 21 June 2021 (data release)
- Submission of Runs: 15 September - 15 October 2021 (depending on task)
- Submission of Technical Report: 19 November 2021
- Round II Wrap-up Virtual Meeting: 30 November-2 December 2021 (exact date TBD)
- Second Round Ends: 2 December 2021

More detailed dates are provided on the Web pages dedicated to each specific task, since the internal scheduling of each task may differ slightly to better match the task design.



Khalid Choukri, ELDA, France
Nicola Ferro, University of Padua, Italy

Data Acquisition and Engineering

Miltos Deligiannis, ILSP/Athena RC, Greece
Marwa Hadj Salah, ELDA, France
Guillaume Jacquet, JRC, Italy
Vassilis Papavassiliou, ILSP/Athena RC, Greece
Stelios Piperidis, ILSP/Athena RC, Greece
Prokopis Prokopidis, ILSP/Athena RC, Greece

Information Extraction

Cyril Grouin, LISN, France
Thierry Declerck, DFKI, Germany
Pierre Zweigenbaum, LISN, France

Multilingual Semantic Search

Giorgio Maria Di Nunzio, University of Padua, Italy
Maria Eskevich, CLARIN ERIC

Machine Translation

Francisco Casacuberta, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
Miguel Domingo, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
Mercedes García-Martínez, Pangeanic, Spain
Manuel Herranz, Pangeanic, Spain


Covid-19 MLIA @ Eval is an evaluation effort promoted by several communities which are closely working together.

We hope that other communities will join us in this shared effort. You are very welcome!

Any question? Please email us at


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