Crisis MT Workshop

Workshop on Crisis Machine Translation (“Crisis MT”) at MT Summit 2019

The Crisis MT Workshop will be held on Tuesday, 20thAugust, 2019 at the MT Summit 2019 Conference in Dublin City University. Titles of Invited and Accepted Talks follow, with links to their abstracts. For the initial Call for Extended Abstracts, click here.

Workshop Programme

(Click on the titles to see the abstracts)

9.00-9.15: Sharon O'Brien: Introduction to the H2020 INTERACT project

9.15-10.00: Invited Talk: Mirko Plitt (Head of Technology, Translators without Borders): The Growing Importance of Translation Tools in Crisis Response

10.00-10.45: Invited Talk: Eric DeLuca (Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager, Translators without Borders): More than Tweets: Understanding the Diversity of Crisis Translation Use Cases

10.45-11.00: Coffee break

11.00-11.30: Carla Parra Escartín and Helena Moniz: Ethical Considerations on the Use of Machine Translation and Crowdsourcing in Crises

11.30-12.00: Antoni Oliver, María del Mar Sánchez Ramos, and Celia Rico: Building Offline, Compact, Ready to Use MT Systems for Crisis Translation

12.00-12.30: Sharon O’Brien, Nataša Pavlović, and Patrick Cadwell: Post-editing 101 Course for Crisis Machine Translation

12.30-13.00: Discusson/Brainstorming

Workshop Context

Timely and accurate information is known to save lives in crisis or disaster settings (Fischer 2008), and is now considered to be a human right (Greenwood et al. 2017; O’Brien et al. 2018). Crises (broadly understood) are known to have cascading effects (Pescaroli and Alexander 2015), to be transboundary, cross-cultural and cross-linguistic. However, the role of translation as an enabler for crisis communication, in all stages of a crisis (preparedness, resilience building, response, recovery) is rarely considered, and the role of technologies such as machine translation, to aid multilingual crisis communication has received even less attention. Some exceptions to this were the work of Lewis (2010) and Lewis et al (2011) in response to the Haiti earthquake and the work of Translators without Borders (Zetsche 2017). More recently, researchers in the EU-funded INTERACT project have been tackling various aspects of this issue by testing pivoting techniques for MT (Liu et al 2018; Silva et al 2018), creating “How to” course content for citizen translators and post-editors, and considering and commenting on the ethical dimension of translation and translation technology in crisis response. MT for crisis settings brings with it a considerable number of challenges, such as data sparsity, translating between “unusual”, or low-resource, language pairs, for languages that have sometimes never been heard of in the commercial world of MT, with very little time, potentially no power or internet connections, and with potentially negative consequences if the output is inaccurate. The proposed workshop seeks to address the many challenges of crisis MT and is open to all researchers interested in this topic, from areas such as NLP, translation studies, disaster and humanitarian response.

Local Organising Committee

  • Sharon O’Brien (DCU)
  • Gareth Jones (DCU)
  • Chao-Hong Liu (DCU)
  • Carla Parra Escartín (DCU)
  • Alessandra Rossetti (DCU)
  • Patrick Cadwell (DCU)

Programme Committee

  • Chao-Hong Liu (DCU)
  • Carla Parra Escartín (DCU)
  • Alessandra Rossetti (DCU)
  • Patrick Cadwell (DCU)
  • Helena Moniz (Unbabel)
  • Mirko Plitt (Translators without Borders)
  • Dimitar Shterionov (DCU)
  • Teresa Lynn (DCU)
  • Jane Dunne (DCU)
  • Federico Gaspari (DCU)
  • Rob Munro (FigureEight)
  • Andy Way (DCU)
  • Khetam al Sharou (UCL)
  • Federico Federici (UCL)
  • Alexandra Birch (University of Edinburgh)