The global and borderless world has made it critically important for speakers of different languages to be able to communicate. Speech translation technology has long been a dream of humankind. Achieving speech translation would have tremendous scientific, cultural, and economic value for humankind. The article "10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change Your World" in the February 2004 issue of An MIT Enterprise Technology Review lists "Universal Translation" as one of these ten technologies. The article showcases a number of translation technologies, but focuses on speech translation technology.
There are especially high hopes in Japan for a speech-translation system that can automatically translate one’s everyday speech because Japanese find the acquisition of foreign languages extremely difficult due to such factors as Japan’s geographical conditions as well as the isolation of the Japanese language. This is a reason why the speech translation research in Japan had been launched more than 20 years ago. The speech translation becomes a very attractive research target in the world, which has strong demands and requires effective integration of speech and language processing. Recent research and development have shown remarkable progress.
The INTERSPEECH2010 organizing committee has kindly given us an opportunity to organize a special highlight session on the speech-to-speech translation research from both these historical and technical points of views. It is great honor for the technical program committee to organize the special highlight session covering the research projects in the world.
This session starts by providing an overview of history and the state of research to date by Professor Alex Waibel (CMU, USA). He also presents recent humanitarian activities with the speech translation technologies. After that, Professor Herman Ney (RWTH, Germany), Dr. Salim Roukos (IBM, USA) and Dr. Satoshi Nakamura (NICT, Japan) will give talks about their recent research activities.
Detailed information of the talks will be found in the following URL:
We sincerely hope that this special highlight session helps and accelerates discussion on future prospects how to break language barriers and realize ideal borderless communication in the world.