L2F was formed in 2001. According to our initial mission statement, we wanted to bring together several research groups which could potentially add relevant contributions to the area of computational processing of spoken language for European Portuguese. We are currently pursuing different lines of activity towards the goal of creating technology to bridge the gap between natural spoken language and the underlying semantic information.
The two lines of activity which the group has considered as top priorities in the past two years, given their relevance and interdisciplinary nature, in terms of integrating several core technologies are: spoken dialogue systems platforms and semantic processing of multimedia contents.
A related topic is computer enhanced human-to-human communication, an area which encompasses for instance automatic transcription of meetings, lectures, courtrooms, etc. with the tough challenge of providing rich transcriptions for spontaneous speech.
Another emerging line of activity is "speech-to-speech" translation, which in itself is the area which encompasses more core technologies in the group. Our long term plan is to incorporate morphology, syntax and semantics into statistical machine translation.
We also plan to continue our work of extending our technology to other varieties of Portuguese and our involvement in two other areas: e-learning and e-inclusion, namely in the development of alternative and augmentative communication tools for people with special needs.