2008 Press Releases

BBN Technologies Awarded $13 Million in DoD Funding to Advance Rapid Foreign Language Processing

— BBN Technologies, an advanced technology solutions firm, announced today it has been awarded $13 million in additional funding by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in year three of the five-year Global Autonomous Language Exploitation (GALE) program. The goal of GALE is to develop and apply software technologies to transcribe speech, translate both speech and text, and distill large volumes of speech and text in multiple languages—all with over 90% accuracy by the end of the program. Such a capability would help U.S. analysts recognize critical information in foreign languages quickly. During the first and second year of the GALE program, BBN met or exceeded the accuracy goals for automatic translation of Arabic newswire text and broadcast news. Under this latest contract award, BBN will continue to work in Arabic from both speech and text sources to meet increasingly steep accuracy goals.

Tad Elmer, president and CEO, BBN Technologies, said, "DARPA's GALE program is the most ambitious speech and language research being done today, and the gains we have made already represent significant advances in automatic language processing. By program end, we expect to achieve a level of accuracy that was long thought impossible."

The BBN GALE team includes BBN speech and language scientists as well as researchers from academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad. The BBN team is integrating the transcription, translation, and distillation (the extraction of the most useful pieces of information) components into a single process instead of using the traditional linked approach of speech-to-text (STT) followed by machine translation (MT) and distillation. Because language, both speech and text, is fluid, the BBN team is using automatic adaptation and contextually-aware processing at all system levels to optimize performance across different languages, dialects, topics, speakers, and semantic nuance and deliver the relevant information.

About BBN Technologies
BBN Technologies solves real problems through the creation and disciplined application of advanced technology. With expertise spanning information security, speech and language processing, networking, distributed systems, and sensing and control systems, BBN scientists and engineers have amassed a substantial collection of innovations and patented solutions. Today, BBN is managing the planning and design of GENI, an advanced network facility spanning the United States; is saving lives in Iraq and Afghanistan with its Boomerang Shooter Detection System; operates the first metro quantum cryptography network; has deployed the first real-time foreign broadcast monitoring system; and has demonstrated the benefits of the world's first stereoscopic digital mammography system in clinical trials. For more information, visit www.bbn.com.