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Activity title

Meeting Translation for NATO Operations (Speech and Language Processing, Project 8)

Activity Reference



Information Systems Technology

Security Classification



Awaiting Publication

Activity type


Start date


End date



assessment, electronic warfare, language identification, machine translation, Military environments, natural language processing, speaker identification., speech communication, speech recognition, speech synthesis, standardization, training


Language is a major obstacle to the communication among multinational personnel. Personnel must communicate in addition to their own language, in an official NATO language. For multi-national meetings, such as IST Panel meetings, this may cause a reduced efficiency. By integrating machine translation with other related communications technologies, such as speech recognition and synthesis, speaker and language identification, NATO personnel can work successfully in meetings. Standardized assessment methods using real meeting data and specifications for both commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and for development of new technology are required.


To address these subjects a representative, multilingual, database of dialogues (both text and speech) is required. A relevant option is to collect these dialogues during NATO meetings, such as IST Panel meetings. One or more prototype systems would be developed and evaluated collaboratively within the Research Task Group. The prototypes could be standalone on a laptop or desktop computer or network based using multiple computers on a wide-area network. All specified applications could be assessed with such a methodology.


The project should consist of: (1) Specification of one or more meeting domains, and language pairs. (2) Assessment of systems and component technology can be performed. The results should be summarized in: (3) A standard or recommendation document. Finally (4) NATO relevance should be indicated. Unclassified portions of the database and methodology should be disseminated among international bodies to initiate wider consensus and application. Results should be discussed in: (5) An open workshop or specialist meeting similar to the previous projects where approximately 100 participants were present.

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