Language technology tools for digital inclusion

Webbläsare med språkteknologiskt verktyg
Photo credit: Karl Öfverström

The goal of the research project is to make it easier for writers to create texts that are easier to understand. This is achieved by creating a web service in which a number of tools for linguistic analysis and processing of texts are made available.

The service is aimed primarily at web editors, but it is useful for anyone who has an interest in understanding how readable a text is and how it can be simplified. This includes both the creation of new versions of the texts as well as to simplify existing texts. Typical applications include simplification of news texts and information materials, such as official texts.
 
Within the framework of a number of research projects at SICS East Swedish ICT, we have developed language processing techniques designed to facilitate the understanding of texts, such as automatic text summarization, tools for text simplification and automatic presentation of synonyms. We have developed new indicators that can measure a text's readability with much better precision than common measurements.
 
Within the project we want to make them available via a web service where anyone can take a text and various ways to get suggestions on how it can be simplified and the linguistic characteristics that are affecting its readability. The work includes both the development of a client-server solution and the development of a common linguistic analysis chain. The linguistic analysis chain includes parts of speech and syntactic analysis.
 
The project facilitates access to information on the web for individuals who for various reasons find it difficult to understand textual information or for various reasons do not have time to read long complex texts. This includes people with certain disabilities, primarily cognitive impairments, dyslexia or visual impairment, as well as persons and older seniors with normal abilities impaired or foreign-born with limited knowledge of the Swedish language and society. By providing web editors and other writers with advanced tools for analysis as well as automatic simplification, this group will be given much greater opportunity to tap the rich source of knowledge that Internet is and digital inclusion increases.

Project members

Arne Jönsson, project leader

Evelina Rennes, text simplification
Johan Falkenjack, readability measures
Daniel Fahlborg, program development
Sara Albertsson, text simplification
Linda Hallström, interface design
Cassandra Svensson, user studies

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