The board of Language Big Data Alliance (LBDA) convened its half-year meeting in Guangzhou on April 7, 2017. Among the attendees were Huang Youyi, co-chair of LBDA, former deputy director-general of China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration and director of China National Committee for MTI Education, Zhong Weihe, co-chair of LBDA and president of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Eric Yu, secretary-general of LBDA and CEO of Global Tone Communication Technology Co., Ltd. (GTCOM) as well as representatives from 18 member organizations of LBDA board.

A year of outstanding achievements

Mr. Huang Youyi summarized progress made by LBDA over the previous year. As a multi-sector and multi-lingual alliance that is devoted to the sharing and application of big data and related technology worldwide, LBDA has made great efforts to bring in members that represent the excellence in their respective field. He named some of the most notable achievements of the previous year. For example, LBDA had grown rapidly in size and the number of member organizations exceeded 100; closer cooperation between member organizations resulted in a series of cross-disciplinary research projects tailed to the needs of government and business clients as well as university-business projects like the Chinese-Portuguese-English Machine Translation Laboratory and the Japanese Pronunciation Correction Laboratory.

Mr. Zhong Weihe pointed out that LBDA spearheaded a new era of language learning, in which language teaching would have to rely on cutting-edge technologies to provide students with best learning experiences. As the traditional approach cannot adequately meet today’s needs for professional education, big data and artificial intelligence technologies emerge to become the driving force behind an upcoming education revolution.

Synergy and sharing

The draft proposal on LBDA’s resource-sharing mechanism was reviewed and passed during the meeting. Mr. Eric Yu noted that LBDA would continue to encourage its member organizations to draw on each other’s comparative advantages by promoting resources sharing and exchanges as well as expanding access to its vast pool of data and other resources. GTCOM, as LBDA’s initiator and member of the secretariat, will remain committed to providing member organizations with HR and technical support.

LBDA upgrades its global strategy

The meeting reviewed and approved the appointment of Hannelore Lee-Jahnke, honorary president of CIUTI and dean of the Translation School of University of Geneva, as LBDA’s first foreign co-chair. “Big data and artificial intelligence technologies will have a profound impact on all walks of life,” said Ms. Lee-Jahnke, “so it is of utmost importance to promote data- and resource-sharing between member organizations, as LBDA already did.” The board also made the decision to give Xi’an International Studies University the rotating chairmanship in the year of 2017.

As China’s first big data-sharing alliance in the language sector, LBDA had long been advocating cooperation between member organizations in language services, teaching, research and application. With 34 new members approved in the meeting, LBDA now has 138 member organizations. The growing membership will definitely facilitate the alliance’s efforts towards resource sharing, as well as more efficient uses of big data technologies to bring about positive changes to different sectors.

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