Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Modest Proposal for Portuguese NLP (Four Years Later...)

Four years ago, in September 2010 I gave a three lectures course at EMAp, FGV, Rio de Janeiro, on what I thought one needed to do for a quick ramp up of Portuguese NLP. I had read (diagonally, of course) about many initiatives, I  tried to summarize trends and competencies. And I described the work I had done in the previous nine years at Xerox PARC on a similar project, for English and what it would take to reproduce it in Portuguese, with access to the English code base.

The slides were very preliminary, here are the first ones.

I had a great time, imagining what we could do, if we had lots of people and lots of money. It is always a good thing to give yourself free rein to imagine good outcomes. I should do more of it. Of course nothing good came out of it, in the appropriate timeframe, so I put the proposals in the backburner and got very cross with the verdict that the project was not realistic, that it was too ambitious...

Well, four years later, with no money and only the people that I managed to convince to work for fun, quite a few of the milestones envisaged are in place. This makes me proud.

The slides of a presentation at FGV after four years are here. I also tried to give a more comprehensive picture in a talk in the Dept of Informatica of PUC-Rio, slides here. This work is great fun and there are plenty of things to do, so I hope to get another post going soon with some of the further developments I would like to see.

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