Workshop on Human Language Technology and Knowledge Management

Article excerpt

This article summarizes the results of the 6-7 July Workshop on Human Language Technology and Knowledge Management held in Toulouse, France. It describes invited keynotes, presentations, and results of brainstorming sessions to create a technology road map for this important area. The group also articulated grand challenges in human language technology and solutions to these challenges that could benefit facilities for knowledge discovery, access, and exploitation.

The Workshop on Human Language Technology and Knowledge Management was held on July 6 and 7 in Toulouse, France, in conjunction with the meeting of the Joint Association for Computational Linguistics and European Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL / EACL '01). Human language technologies promise solutions to challenges in human-computer interaction, information access, and knowledge management. Advances in technology areas such as indexing, retrieval, transcription, extraction, translation, and summarization offer new capabilities for learning, playing, and conducting business. These adances promise to support enhanced awareness, creation, and dissemination of enterprise expertise and know-how.

Organized by the European Network of Excellence in Human Langauge Technologies (Steven Krauwer, U. Utrecht) and The MITRE Corporation (Mark Maybury), the workshop brought together a group of 50 computational linguists, Al researchers, and computer scientists from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South Africa working in a range of areas (for example, speech and language processing, translation, summarization, multimedia presentation, content extraction, dialog tracking) both to report advances in human language technology and their application to knowledge management and to work toward a road map for the human language technologies for the next decade. In part, the workshop focused on human language technologies that could enable knowledge management functions such as the following:

Expert discovery: Modeling, cataloging, and tracking of distributed organizations and communities of experts

Knowledge discovery: Identification and classification of knowledge from unstructured multimedia data

Knowledge sharing: Awareness of, and access to, enterprise expertise and know-how

Table 1 (from Mark Maybury's introduction to the workshop) illustrates how these knowledge management functions are supported by a broad range of human language technologies, including query analysis-retrieval, information extraction, question answering, machine translation, agent-user modeling, summarization, presentation generation, and awareness-collaboration.

During the second day, John Domingue, deputy director of The Knowledge Media Institute at The Open University in England, gave the keynote entitled "Supporting Organizational Learning through the Enrichment of Documents." According to Domingue, only a small percentage of corporate training is ever applied within the workplace because organizations tend to use schoolbased methods of learning in contrast to organizational learning based on theories of learning in the workplace. Domingue described knowledge sharing by enriching web documents with informal and formal representations, a process that captures the context in which a document is created and applied. Domingue demonstrated how this enrichment facilitates retrieval and comprehension.

In addition, the group heard an invited talk from Hans Uszkoreit (DFKI Saarbruecken), scientific director at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), head of DFKI Language Technology Lab, and professor of computational linguistics at the Department of Computational Linguistics and Phonetics of Saarland University at Saarbrucken. Uszkoreit's talk was entitled "Crosslingual Language Technologies for Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Sharing." He described how "language technology can provide means for associating shared knowledge with the relevant decision situations by automatically linking it to the critical elements within decision triggers, that is, electronic documents in the work flow that demand and record a decision. …