On March 11, the Air Force Research Laboratory posted a broad agency announcement for human language technologies (Solicitation Number: BAA-AFRL-RQKH-2016-0004). An Industry Day is scheduled for March 24.
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), 711th Human Performance Wing (711 HPW), Human-Centered Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Division, Human Trust and Interaction Branch (711 HPW/RHXS), seeks innovative research to develop human language technologies (HLTs) that will provide the warfighter with enhanced capabilities to utilize and exploit foreign language information. Much of the information needed to effectively understand, anticipate, manage, and operate in the global environment is found in foreign language speech, text, videos, and images; however, there is a critical lack of linguists and automated tools to understand, translate, and to effectively exploit this information. This shortfall is especially common and problematic for lesser spoken languages that have high military interest but lack sufficient linguists and automated language processing capabilities. Even for languages where speech and other language processing tools do exist, overall accuracy and performance can still be insufficient, depending on the domain and application, to effectively support operations.
The objective of this program is to conduct research and develop HLTs in the areas of automatic speech recognition (ASR), machine translation (MT), natural language processing (NLP), information extraction (IE), information retrieval (IR), text-to-speech synthesis (TTS), and other speech and language processing technologies. Major application areas of interest include multilingual multimedia information extraction and retrieval (MMIER) and speech-to-speech translation (S2ST). The HLT Program within 711 HPW/RHXS has developed an in-house prototype system for MMIER called “Haystack” and has also developed a prototype S2ST system. Research and technology developed under this effort will be integrated into these applications, the applications configured for individual customer requirements, and then ultimately transitioned for operational use. Research will be conducted at the Unclassified, Secret Collateral, and Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) level. The anticipated dollar value for this acquisition is $10M over a 5-year period of performance.
Full information is available here.