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Human Language Technologies (HLT)

For more information on HLT, its contribution to the development of South Africa, the National HLT Network, and educational opportunities in HLT - click here.
Human Language Technology (HLT) makes it easier for people to interact with machines. This can benefit a wide range of people - from illiterate farmers in remote villages who want to obtain relevant medical information over a cellphone, to scientists in state-of-the-art laboratories who want to focus on problem-solving with computers.

The HLT Research Group, a collaborative research effort involving researchers from the Meraka Institute, the University of Pretoria and other collaborators, studies how this technology can be applied, adapted, and developed to benefit the people of southern Africa.

The HLT research group investigates how HLT can be adapted and applied to benefit a developing country and pursues basic and directed research relevant to the local context. This goal is considered from two perspectives:

  • HLT as an enabling technology that can play a crucial role in addressing the need for information empowerment. An example is telephone-based systems using HLT that can provide much useful information.
  • HLT as a support for language diversity in an affordable and equitable fashion. HLT can assist industry and government to make services and documents available in the 11 official languages and has a role to play in rectifying the historical discrimination against specific languages.

We approach HLT research in a specific way: We consciously support language diversity and encourage the sharing of methods and data as open resources. We are passionate about science in all its aspects and are particularly motivated by relevant and applicable research. It is both efficient and gratifying to collaborate with a wide range of partners. We aim to provide a nurturing and challenging environment for young scientists from various backgrounds.

Please visit our pages to see who we are, and what collaborators are working with us to achieve these goals. Learn about the research we are doing, the publications that we have written about this research, or about the applications of our technology.


  Contact: Karen Calteaux +27 12 841 2614/3028
Copyright © Meraka Institute 2007
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