Panel Discussion on “Natural Language Processing” – 29th July
The Department of English hosted a panel discussion on Natural Language Processing on 29th July 2019 at 8.30am. During this discussion, the University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) and the University of Moratuwa discussed their work in the field.
In Sri Lanka, two of the main bodies that work with NLP are the University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) and the University of Moratuwa (UoM). Both these institutions have been working with the national languages (Sinhala and Tamil) at (in?) different capacities for years. The Department of English (DoE), University of Colombo has been conducting research and working on Sri Lankan English, the variety of English is used in Sri Lanka, albeit in a sociolinguistic capacity and not through a computational linguistics angle. Although working independently, it appears that these three bodies have created a corpus of work that includes all three (constitutionally identified) languages in use in Sri Lanka. As UCSC and UoM focus on a computational angle, and DoE is interested in a sociolinguistic perspective, a conversation among all three bodies where digital technology intersects with understandings of the humanities would benefit researchers beyond either of the fields. This seminar is an attempt to initiate such a conversation: a survey of the work done in the field so far, in an attempt at disseminating existing knowledge and mapping a way forward.