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Invited Speakers

Dr. Kenneth Church

One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052


Speech and Language Processing: Can We Use the Past to Predict the Future?

Abstract: Where have we been and where are we going? Three types of answers will be discussed: consistent progress, oscillations and discontinuities. Moore's Law provides a convincing demonstration of consistent progress, when it applies. Speech recognition error rates are declining by 10 times per decade; speech coding rates are declining by 2 times per decade. Unfortunately, fields do not always move in consistent directions. Empiricism dominated the field in the 1950s, and was revived again in the 1990s. Oscillations between Empiricism and Rationalism may be inevitable, with the next revival of Rationalism coming in the 2010s, assuming a 40-year cycle. Discontinuities are a third logical possibility. From time to time, there will be fundamental changes that invalidate fundamental assumptions. As petabytes become a commodity (in the 2010s), old apps like data entry (dictation) will be replaced with new priorities like data consumption (search).

Dr. Kenneth Church's Biography

I moved to Microsoft Research in late 2003. Before that, I was the head of a data mining department in AT&T Labs-Research (formally AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ). I received my BS, Masters and PhD from MIT in computer science in 1978, 1980 and 1983, and immediately joined AT&T. I have worked in many areas of computational linguistics including: acoustics, speech recognition, speech synthesis, OCR, phonetics, phonology, morphology, word-sense disambiguation, spelling correction, terminology, translation, lexicography, information retrieval, compression, language modeling and text analysis. I enjoy working with very large corpora such as the Associated Press newswire (1 million words per week) and larger datasets such as larger data sets such as telephone call detail (1-10 billion records per month).

Dr. Patrick Hanks

Projekt Kollokation,
Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Jaegerstrasse 22-23
D-10117 Berlin

Prof. James Pustejovsky

Department of Computer Science
Brandeis University
Waltham, USA


Common Sense about Word Meaning: Sense in Context

Abstract: We present a new approach to determining the meaning of words in text, which relies on assigning senses to the contexts within which words occur, rather than to the words themselves. A preliminary version of this approach is presented in Pustejovsky, Hanks and Rumshisky (2004, COLING). We argue that words senses are not directly encoded in the lexicon of a language, but rather that each word is associated with one or more stereotypical syntagmatic patterns. Each pattern is associated with a meaning, which can be expressed in a formal way as a resource for any of a variety of computational applications.

Dr. Patrick Hanks's Biography

Patrick Hanks is one of Britain's leading lexicographers. He was responsible for the first editions of Collins English Dictionary, Cobuild, and the New Oxford Dictionary of English.

He is a leading corpus linguist. He has worked with John Sinclair on corpus analysis, Ken Church on statistical methods in computational linguistics, Yorick Wilks on preference semantics, and James Pustejovsky on techniques for inferencing and disambiguation. His work in the philosophy of language has been described by David Wiggins (Wykeham Professor of Logic in the University of Oxford) as "the first really significant advance in the handling of word meaning since the 17th-18th century."

He has led teams researching surnames and first names, and is currently working with Kate Hardcastle, Ken Tucker, and others on a vast database of the origins and distribution of American family names.

He is currently researching phraseology and idioms in German and English and is a consultant to the Electronic Dictionary of the German Language project at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.

Prof. James Pustejovsky's Biography

Research Interests:

Prof. Dr. Jan Odijk

UIL-OTS University of Utrecht
Trans 10
3512 JK, Utrecht


ScanSoft's Technologies

Abstract: I will first sketch some background on the company ScanSoft. Next, I will discuss ScanSoft's products and technologies, which include digital imaging and OCR technology, automatic speech recognition technology (ASR), text-to-speech technology (TTS), dialogue technology, including multimodal dialogues, dictation technology and audiomining technology. I will sketch the basic functionality of these technologies, a global sketch of the components they are composed of, demonstrate some of them, and illustrate the platform types on which they can be used. Finally I will sketch what is needed to develop such technologies, focusing not only on data but also on required modules and methodologies.

Prof. Dr. Jan Odijk's Biography

Jan Odijk is professor of language and speech technology at the University of Utrecht. The focus of the research is on making grammars useable for language and speech technology by developing approximations to them in a systematic manner.

Jan Odijk worked at the University of Utrecht, from 1982-1988 where he carried out research into theoretical syntax and research in computational linguistics (esp. machine translation). In 1988 he joined Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven, where he carried out research into grammars and lexicons for machine translation, and where he worked since 1993 (at IPO) on the development of natural language and speech interfaces, esp. language and speech generation.

In 1997 he joined Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products to become the senior director of the linguistic resources division. Since December 2001 he occupies the same position at ScanSoft Belgium.


Faculty of Informatics International Speech Communication Association Faculty of Applied Sciences