The European Parliament launched an international tender to provide translation and real-time transcription services for its plenary sessions, supporting the 24 languages in use. One of the aims of the project was to make the on-screen debates available to members with hearing impairment, who could not participate directly.
The selection process lasted one year and assessed the quality of the proposed solution, way the project was managed, live demonstrations, technical support, and the cost. Top three ranked consortiums were each awarded a one-year contract and, at the end of the testing phase. After the selection phase Cedat85 lead consortium have been awarded as the service provider.
Cedat85 led the consortium together with partner RWS (former SDL), specialised in linguistics and artificial intelligence.
At the heart of the solution presented was Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), a technology solution patented by Cedat85 in 2008 and 2010 and in use in over 200 Italian city councils as well as at the State-Regions Department of the Presidency of the Council and at the Chamber of Deputies.
The solution designed by CEDAT85, integrating CEDAT85’s ASR and RWS’s Machine Translation technologies will automatically transcribe and translate parliamentary multilingual debates in real-time into the 24 official languages of the EU states. Members (including those with hearing impairment who would otherwise not have direct access) can thus read them in text form on screen and follow the discussions in real-time. It will also be able to learn from corrections supporting data, and user feedback and improve its quality over time. As leader of the consortium, CEDAT85 will be responsible for the platform and technical support, as well as coordination of the entire project tailored to the requirements of the tender launched by the European Parliament.
RWS provides the basis for the consortium’s translation solution. The technology, powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence innovations developed by RWS’s research and development team over the past 15 years, is secure, flexible, highly scalable and built for complex content environments. Over the past 10 years, RWS has provided the European Union and its supporting agencies with language technologies and services.