Oct 13 2014 Posted: 09:34 IST

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics recently hosted a major international workshop in NUI Galway on ‘Controlled Natural Language’ that was attended by renowned experts in a field that is becoming increasingly important as a methodology for describing technical information related to web technologies.

According to Dr Brian Davis of Insight, “The everyday or natural languages that humans use to communicate can be difficult for machines to understand as it is inherently ambiguous with for instance the same word having entirely different meanings in different contexts. So ‘Controlled Natural Language’ or CNL is designed to be a simplified language with restricted vocabulary, grammar, and semantics (meaning) which can be used to improve technical communication among humans, especially for non-native speakers of the respective natural language and is now commonly used in sectors such as ICT, localisaton, airline industries, global maritime among others.

Applications include authoring and translating technical doucuments. It is about making it easier for computers to understand and to analyze documents faciliating for instance creating datababes or automatic translations into other languages.”

Speakers at the workshop, that was sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Eurosentiment (http://eurosentiment.eu/ ) and Digital Grammars, included Professor Marti A. Hearst of the University of California at Berkeley, Professor Aarne Ranta of the University of Gothenburg and Professor Johan Bos, Univeristy of Groningen. Co-organisers of the workshop were Dr Brian Davis (Insight), Dr Tobias Kuhn (ETH, Zurich) and Dr Kaarel Kalijurand (University of Zurich).

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, is a joint initiative between researchers at Dublin City University, NUI Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin and other partner institutions. Insight brings together more than 200 researchers from these institutions, with over 30 industry partners, to position Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research.

For further information, contact Dr Brian Davis at brian.davis@insight-centre.org.

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