European Language Technology conference celebrates return to Brussels in hybrid form


The return to on-site conferences is a big relief for the science community, and the hybrid form has proven to be the new standard..  On 8 and 9 June, META-FORUM 2022 welcomed close to 100 LT experts and enthusiasts from all over Europe at the international conference series on powerful and innovative language technologies for the multilingual information society in Brussels, while almost 300 more followed the event online. Several keynote speakers and panel members chose the same option, creating a truly hybrid and fortunately seamless discussion between the guests on stage and on the screen.

After an opening keynote by Jonas Andrulis, founder, and CEO of German AI company Aleph Alpha, the first conference day focussed on the European Language Grid and the final release of the platform. An overview session with a demonstration and tutorial led into the presentation of showcases, use cases and best practices as well as a panel with representatives of the European LT industry. During the panel on Language-centric AI ,a lively discussion took place amongst key European representatives like OpenGPT-X, HumanE-AI-Net, CLAIRE, CLARIN and EFNIL. The day ended with the presentation of the Language Data Space, introduced by Philippe Gelin (DG CONNECT, European Commission), and the future of ELG as a legal entity, presented by Georg Rehm (DFKI, ELG project coordinator).

Day 2 was committed to the European Language Equality project, opened by two keynotes by June Lowery-Kingston (Head of Unit G3, DG CONNECT, European Commission) and Francois Alfonsi (Member of the European Parliament). The ELE project consortium presented some of the results achieved – such as the representation of language in national AI strategies in Europe, the Digital Language Equality Metric and its interactive Dashboard – as well as some of the reports on the state of LT support for European languages. The afternoon session saw a large panel discussion about the demands, gaps and needs of the European LT community, followed by the vision of Digital Language Equality by 2030 and the continuation of the ELE project in the next year.

The recordings of all sessions can be found on the ELG YouTube channel, while the slides and notes of all presentations are linked in the programme on the ELG website. META-FORUM will return in 2023 with a dedication to the results of the ELE2 project. 

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