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Penny Mordaunt uses British Sign Language in Commons first

BBC News

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt uses sign language in Parliament as she announces a global disability conference will take place in London later this month.


On the Formal Semantics of Speech-Act Based Communication in an Agent-Oriented Programming Language

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Research on agent communication languages has typically taken the speech acts paradigm as its starting point. Despite their manifest attractions, speech-act models of communication have several serious disadvantages as a foundation for communication in artificial agent systems. In particular, it has proved to be extremely difficult to give a satisfactory semantics to speech-act based agent communication languages. In part, the problem is that speech-act semantics typically make reference to the "mental states" of agents (their beliefs, desires, and intentions), and there is in general no way to attribute such attitudes to arbitrary computational agents. In addition, agent programming languages have only had their semantics formalised for abstract, stand-alone versions, neglecting aspects such as communication primitives.


First workshop on Resources for African Indigenous Languages (RAIL)

VideoLectures.NET

The South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) is organizing a workshop (originally expected to be held at the LREC 2020 conference in Marseille, France) in the field of African Indigenous Language Resources. This workshop aims to bring together researchers who are interested in showcasing their research and thereby boosting the field of African indigenous languages. This provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art and emphasizes availability of African indigenous language resources, including both data and tools. Additionally, it allows for information sharing among researchers interested in African indigenous languages as well as starting discussions on improving the quality and availability of the resources. Many African indigenous languages currently have no or very limited resources available and, additionally, they are often structurally quite different from more well-resourced languages, requiring the development and use of specialized techniques.


Mondly releases language-learning voice chatbot

ZDNet

Brasov, Transylvania-based Mondly has released a voice chatbot to help you learn languages. The chatbot interacts with users by using a speech recognition engine that allows users to practice speaking in a foreign language and receive adaptive audio-visual responses. AI techniques are becoming part of every day computing: here's how they're being used to help online retailers keep up with the competition. The app uses speech recognition technology from Nuance enhanced with an object recognition engine that identifies objects in the text. It understands millions of phrases in 33 languages.


IDL-Expressions: A Formalism for Representing and Parsing Finite Languages in Natural Language Processing

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

We propose a formalism for representation of finite languages, referred to as the class of IDL-expressions, which combines concepts that were only considered in isolation in existing formalisms. The suggested applications are in natural language processing, more specifically in surface natural language generation and in machine translation, where a sentence is obtained by first generating a large set of candidate sentences, represented in a compact way, and then by filtering such a set through a parser. We study several formal properties of IDL-expressions and compare this new formalism with more standard ones. We also present a novel parsing algorithm for IDL-expressions and prove a non-trivial upper bound on its time complexity.