Academic network develops computers that understand human language

Researchers from the University of Brighton have won funding to develop technology that will enable computers to process and produce human language.

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Researchers from the University of Brighton have won funding to develop technology that will enable computers to produce and process human language.

The EPSRC Network on Vision and Language has received the £120,000 funding from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

A key research aim of the network is to help the visually impaired use the internet.

"Network members are working towards software tools such as automatic image description tools that can help impaired users gain some degree of access to all visual online content," said Dr Anja Belz at the University of Brighton’s School of Computing, Mathematical and Information Sciences.

The network also plans to develop software that could help the police automatically sift and identify specific images from CCTV footage and locate sequences matching a given type of crime.

Around 100 UK-based researchers are already members of the network, which is headed by Dr Belz.

The funding will allow the network to develop links to researchers all over the world. During the three-year project, the network will also host events such as annual network meetings, conferences, exhibitions and public evening lectures.

Dr Belz said: "Our role will be to help researchers develop their ideas into viable project proposals.

"In addition to offering financial support, we will provide online resources such as a searchable database of experts and repositories of downloadable data, software and publications."

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