21 January 2019
The Bergamot project held its kickoff meeting in Edinburgh (United Kingdom) on January 21st, 2019. Coordinated by University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), the consortium includes four other partners from three other countries: University of Tartu (Estonia), University of Sheffield (United Kingdom), Mozilla (Germany), and Charles University (Czech Republic). The focus of the 3-year Bergamot project is addition and improvement of client-side machine translation in a web browser. This shift to client-side translation empowers citizens to preserve their privacy and increases the uptake of language technologies in Europe in sectors that require confidentiality. With almost 3M € in funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Bergamot’s addition of client-side machine translation to a web browser will result in cost savings for private and public sector users who would otherwise procure translation or operate monolingually.
In order to meet users where they are, Bergamot will dedicate a work package to researching users’ UI/UX needs and creating a user interface that meets these needs. One non UI/UX user need is that for performant translation, providing a quick translation on a large variety of client-side platforms. Meeting this performance need is the focus of another work package that will optimise the translation engine for a variety of target platforms. Beyond just translation, the interface will expose improved quality estimates, addressing the rising public debate on algorithmic trust. In addition, another work package will focus on dynamic domain adaptation, addressing the peculiar writing style of a website or user by adapting translation on the fly using local information too private to upload to the cloud. Our combined research on user experience, domain adaptation, quality estimation, outbound translation, and efficiency will support our broad browser-based innovation plan.
Finally, to guarantee impacts beyond the 3-year timeframe of Bergamot, the consortium are integrating the results of this action into the Firefox browser and open sourcing all the technologies produced through the Bergamot effort. This will ensure that the effort is disseminated widely to users through the Firefox browser and is able to be exploited via other means through developers leveraging the open source technologies.