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A Talk on Recent Advances in the IT Field of Natural Language Processing

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YEREVAN, Armenia – Data science, specifically technology for language, was the focus of an event on December 12, organized by the College of Science and Engineering. Based on previous strong interest in the topic, technical minds from Yerevan’s data science and machine learning community were inspired to put more focus on natural language processing (NLP), which was the core topic of the forum.

Experts in technology for language from PicsArt and formerly from Google, as well as from local and international research institutions and early-stage startups spoke at the event. The technologists were joined by distinguished minds in the fields of Armenian literature and translation for a concluding panel discussion on developing quality content and tools for the Armenian language.

The talk touched on the nature and scale of human language on the web as it grows beyond three billion users, software internationalization, and interesting players in technology for language, both worldwide and in Armenia.  The field of NLP combines computer science and computational linguistics to solve problems in natural language understanding, search, speech recognition, optical character recognition, topic tagging, sentiment analysis of text, automatic spelling correction, translation, and transliteration.

The hardest problems in NLP, like natural language understanding and translation, are traditional interests of the artificial intelligence community.  The continued growth of data and processing power also have implications for the field. The speakers discussed how revolutions in machine learning – like neural networks – are driving recent advances in NLP. 

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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