Tuesday, 3 May, 2022 - 09:30 to 12:30

The third European Language Resource Coordination (ELRC) workshop in the Czech Republic

Language Technology is shaping our multilingual future. It has already been transforming the way we interact with our devices and with each other, the way we shop, work and travel. More and more it reshapes our interaction with service providers, either public or private. Programs that automatically correct spelling errors and aid sophisticated writing, digital assistants that transform our voices to text messages on mobile phones, bots that answer our calls to the bank or to our social security organisation, systems that automatically translate from a foreign language, and much more, are already empowering our everyday lives, our businesses and our administrations. But can we fully use our own language in our digital interactions? Is our language adequately supported and ready to keep pace with the technological advancements of the AI era?  

The third Czech European Language Resource Coordination (ELRC) workshop will address these questions and it will seek to engage participants in a fruitful discussion on the status and prospects of Language Technology for the Czech langugage. Developers, integrators and users of Language Technology, both from the private and public sector will share experiences, requirements and ways for transforming digital interaction in our multilingual Europe with Language Technologies. Finally, we will discuss how language data, i.e. texts and speech, can fuel development in Artificial Intelligence.

The ELRC workshop is a free event, but registration is required. Please register here

The event will be held in Czech and English, automated translation services will be available.

Workshop programme


09:30 – 09:40

Welcome and introduction [Czech]
Prof. Jan Hajič, UFAL, MFF UK (https://ufal.mff.cuni.cz/)

09:40 – 10:00

The potential of Language Technology and AI – where we are, where we should be heading [Czech]
Ing. Jan Kleindienst, Ph.D., The MAMA AI (https://themama.ai/

10:00 – 10:30

Language Technologies in Czech Republic / for Czech language [Czech]
Prof. Jan Černocký, Speech@FIT, VÚT Brno (https://speech.fit.vutbr.cz/)

10:30 – 10:45

  Coffee Break
10:45 – 11:15

The CEF AT Platform [English]
Francois Thunus, DGT

11:15 – 11:35

The new Digital Europe Programme and the Language Data Space [English]
Philippe Gelin, DG CONNECT

11:35 – 12:05

The use of the language technologies at the Czech Republic Supreme Audit Office [Czech]
Jaroslav Rucký, NKÚ (https://www.nku.cz/)

12:05 – 12:30

Final discussion and workshop conclusion [Czech/English]
Prof. Jan Hajič, UFAL, MFF UK (moderator)




The potential of Language Technology and AI – where we are, where we should be heading, by  Ing. Jan Kleindienst, Ph.D.

Language is the medium we use to formulate and communicate thoughts. Language is thus the greatest invention of humankind. Understanding language has always been one of the key goals of AI. If AI could truly understand language, it might be ready to master human-level intelligence. Despite significant progress in the NLP field over the past several decades, this still remains a hard problem (AI-complete actually). MAMA AI, a Prague-based European technology group, is developing AI solutions for various customers across many industries. In this talk, I will discuss practical achievements and challenges of applying AI to NLP space in real-world settings, including Conversational AI, AIOps, neural text-to-speech, bioinformatics - from data collection to model building. I will also sketch out some emerging trends in the AI community that may lead to further advances in understanding this most complex cognitive function we know - our language.

  • Ing. Jan Kleindienst, Ph.D., The MAMA AI – Jan is a co-founder of MAMA AI  (spring 2021) and TELMA AI (spring 2022), European tech startups focused on building personalized, reusable and sustainable AI for businesses and individuals. He is a former head of IBM Watson AI R&D Lab with 25 years history of inventing advanced speech and conversational solutions for many global customers. Jan is an enthusiast and seasoned professional in managing international research and engineering around AI, natural language processing, speech recognition & synthesis, and conversational technologies. With a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Charles University in Prague, he has co-authored 40+ international patents and many scientific publications around AI. He is a co-founder of the Platform for Artificial Intelligence at the Czech Confederation of Industry and the vice-chairman of the Research Board of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic.
  • https://themama.ai/


Czechia – a super-power in speech and language technologies, by Prof. Jan Černocký

Czechia is definitely not the world’s military, political or economic leader – except for the area of speech and language technologies. Here, it has probably the world’s highest concentration of quality academic labs and innovative companies per capita. This talk will investigate why this is the case from historical and educational perspective. It will mention notable personalities that defined the speech and NLP R&D in the last decades, and highlight some recent success stories of Czech research and industry. We will also claim that, despite the success of personal voice assistance, automatic translators and “AI” applications in general, speech and NLP research is far from finished: multilinguality, robustness, far-field microphones, are still open challenges such as, as well as linking speech, NLP, machine translation and other down-stream tasks in end-to-end systems. Continuing their support is a safe investment into the future of European industry.

  • Prof. Jan Černocký,  BUT Speech@FIT – Jan "Honza" Cernocky is Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Graphics and Multimedia at the Faculty of Information Technology, Brno University of Technology (FIT BUT). He founded the BUT Speech@FIT research group in 1997 and serves as its executive director. He graduated from BUT (Ing.) and from Université Paris Sud, France (Ph.D.) and was with ESIEE Paris, France and OGI Portland, Oregon, USA. His research interests include artificial intelligence, signal processing and speech data mining (speech, speaker and language recognition). He was PI and co-PI of several national, European and US (DARPA and IARPA) funded projects. He served as co-chair of major speech and signal processing conferences: IEEE ICASSP 2011 in Prague, IEEE ASRU 2013 in Olomouc, and Interspeech 2021 in Brno. At FIT BUT, he is responsible for courses signal and speech processing courses. Honza is Senior Member of IEEE and member of International Speech Communication Association (ISCA). In 2006, he co-founded Phonexia, that is currently one of world's most important players in production speech technologies. He is also active in popularization of speech data mining and science in general in public media.
  • http://www.fit.vutbr.cz/~cernocky


The Commissions Automated Translation Platform: eTranslation, by Francois Thunus

The presenentation will provide introduction to the European Commissions's eTranslation system, who can connect, how to use it, and some of the other linguistic services it offers.

  • Francois Thunus, DGT – started as a linguist and interpreter at the Court of Justice, then moved on as informatician in machine translation at Systran. Switched to the Publication Office as head of IT team, and joined DGT 2 years ago for speech project.
  • DGT – The Commission's Directorate-General for Translation


The new Digital Europe Programme and the Language Data Space, by Philippe Gelin

During his presentation, Philippe Gelin will present the latest language technologies deployment efforts of the European Commission.

  • Philippe Gelin, DG CONNECT, Head of Sector  “Multilingualism”, in the directorate general  Communications Networks, Content and Technology at the European Commissionwithin the European Commission, Philippe Gelin is responsible of the « multilingualism » sector within the directorate general  Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), where he develops European wide policies including the research and deployment funding programme related to language technologies.
  • DGT The Commission's Directorate‑General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology


The use of the language technologies at the Czech Republic Supreme Audit Office, by Jaroslav Rucký

The aim of the presentation is to present to the audience the use of translation machine tools in the normal operation of the Supreme Audit Office (SAO). The presentation will focus on the short introduction into the activities of the SAO and its international cooperation within EUROSAI. It will also make participants aware of the auditors' needs and point out the practical examples the auditors face with machine translations.

  • Mgr. Jaroslav Rucký, NKÚ (Nejvyšší kontrolní úřad ČR,  the Czech Republic Supreme Audit Office) –  the Head of Team for EUROSAI Presidency, Department of International Relations
  • https://www.nku.cz/