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Report on the Joint Stakeholder Consultation on Research and Innovation in Web Accessibility and Language Technologies

On the 3rd and 4th of October 2019, the European Commission hosted a stakeholder consultation to prepare for the Horizon Europe programme. Around 50 experts from major European research centres, universities and industries specialising in Web Accessibility and Language Technologies gathered in Luxembourg to share their views and identify trends and challenges that may inform future Research and Innovation actions of the European Commission.

The report summarises the outcomes of the discussions in the domain of Language Technologies, in which the experts identified visions and actions in the following areas:

  • Resource, Hardware & edge computing: the experts propose a joint action between High Performance Computing (HPC) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to encourage the communities to collaborate and to produce hardware systems that natively support NLP.
  • Multimodality :this action suggests a shared initiative for collecting, standardizing, developing and using data sets across all languages, styles, dialects, accents and contexts for multimodal interaction (rich in text, image, audio and sensor data).
  • Universal Language Understanding: this action aims to create a multimodal (text, speech, vision, sensor data) general-purpose systems which demonstrate general understanding and context-awareness, including user and system intent, belief, goals, emotions and desires.
  • Application layer: this action foresees the creation of tools to help with conversational goals in any mode of interaction and every language.
  • Environment, Ethics, Equality, Security and Trust: the proposed actions need to respect the transversal values of equality, greenness, explainability, security and privacy and more to build technologies for the people.
  • Synergies between Web Accessibility and Language Technologies: the report also highlights points of synergy the experts identified between the two disciplines.


Report Joint Stakeholder Consultation Language Technologies (.pdf)