The project “Language in the Human-Machine Era” (LITHME) runs from June 2020 to May 2024. It is a COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action.
How will pervasive augmentation technology affect language in areas such as international law, translation, and other forms of language work? What will this mean for how people identify with specific languages? Could increasing reliance on real-time language technologies actually change the structure of language? Longer term, might developments in brain-machine interfaces serve complement or even supersede language altogether?
Meanwhile questions of equitable distribution surely accompany any widespread adoption of language technology, just as happened over the last decades with personal computing and the internet. The proposed Action would gather researchers from disciplines including computational linguistics, sociolinguistics and language policy, to think through the potential significance of these developments.
Working groups would focus on: law; language technology; language rights; language vitality; language ideology; language learning; language work; and language contact/variation. Emphasising dialogue between groups and with a range of stakeholders, we would aim to equip linguists and interested non-academic organisations for the human-machine era.
Dave Sayers, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
EU-funded COST action.
Website to be communicated soon.