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Personal Bio

Rihards Kalniņš is the Business Development Manager at Tilde, a language technology company that develops innovative multilingual tools for enabling languages in the digital era. This includes multilingual content analytics and custom machine translation systems specially adapted for companies and organizations, helping to make their platforms fully multilingual. A former Fulbright scholar, Rihards holds a degree in philosophy and has written articles on language for various publications, including The Guardian and EurActiv.com.

Presentation title: 
Language Technology: Enabling Multilingual Communication for the EU Presidency
Presentation description: 
In 2015, the EU Presidency was hosted in Latvia. During the Presidency, more than 25 000 participants from across Europe, including 800 international journalists, gathered for over 1 680 official events in Riga. To facilitate multilingual exchanges among for the participants, Tilde developed an innovative communication tool for the EU Presidency. The tool was developed by integrating various cutting-edge language technology services: custom machine translation systems, Named Entity Recognizers (NER), and dynamic terminology integration technology, among others. The multilingual tool was deployed in a desktop application, a mobile app, and a 2-meter-high translation kiosk at the Presidency headquarters. Each of these featured a specialized workspace for accessing multilingual data as well as an interface for real-time website translation. This guaranteed that users could access the language technology services in a way that met their specific needs. With the tool, EU delegates and international journalists could follow EU Presidency events in the Latvian media, read local websites, access press materials and other documents not available in English, and study government documents for general research purposes. During the presentation, Tilde will highlight the specific language technology requirements from the EU Presidency, which had to be taken into account before beginning the project. We will also discuss how Tilde’s innovative language technology services were developed, customized, and integrated into the tool, as well as the ways in which our team worked to create an optimal UX for the tool’s many users. Thanks to the great popularity of the multilingual communication tool at the EU Presidency, multilingualism became a topic of debate at the Digital Assembly in June of 2015, prompting the European Commission’s Chief Innovation Officer Robert Madelin to state: “There will be no digital single market without multilingualism.” By helping to showcase the role of language technologies in promoting multilingualism, the EU Presidency tool was able to promote awareness of language technologies on an EU level, benefiting the LT industry as a whole.