This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
Please note that breakout session space is limited! To reserve your seat at your preferred sessions, click the circle next to the session’s name and it will turn into a check mark. Click the check mark again to remove the session from your schedule.

Be sure to use #hictf2017 when posting about the event on social media!

To return to the main Humanitarian ICT Forum website, click here
Back To Schedule
Tuesday, March 21 • 1:30pm - 3:15pm
Afternoon Breakout 3 – Climbing the Tower of Babel: Eliminating the Language Barrier in Crisis Response LIMITED

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Limited Capacity seats available

Aliens have arrived and no one knows what they want or how to work with them. Call in the linguist! That may have been the premise of the recent Hollywood blockbuster Arrival, but it is not dissimilar to the situation that humanitarians and affected people often face: a language barrier reducing communications and affecting the overall effectiveness of the response. In this session, we will explore the problem and exciting new technologies in voice, machine learning, accessibility to information and community engagement to improve true communications. We will ask and try to answer the following: How do we listen to all voices in a crisis, regardless of language? Should we be focused on communications and content from affected communities, not the other way around? Is our content actually understood by people who need it? Is translation enough, and does it matter? Registration is required for this session and participation is capped at 35 people.

avatar for Rebecca Petras

Rebecca Petras

Deputy Director, Translators without Borders
The 'participation revolution' in humanitarian response requires a re-think on how we communicate, and, more specifically, in what languages. If we are truly letting go and allowing affected populations to lead response in the way that makes sense for them, then we need to consider... Read More →

avatar for Ed Bice

Ed Bice

Chief Executive Officer, Medan
Meedan (from the Arabic for town square or gathering place) is a global cabal of journalists and technologists working on open source software designed to _deepen_ (context, annotation, fact-check, verify) and _widen_ (translation) the www. Check is a platform for collaborative... Read More →
avatar for Rob Munro

Rob Munro

Humanitarian and Technology experience includes: working in post-conflict development in Liberia and Sierra Leone for UNHCR; researching health communications in Malawi; software development supporting endangered languages; running crowdsourced translation following disasters in Haiti... Read More →
avatar for Jeff Pitman

Jeff Pitman

Lead of Product Engineering, Google Translate, Google
Jeff Pitman joined Google in 2005 and currently leads the Google Translate product engineering team. His team is responsible for showcasing Google's state of the art in translation technologies through Search, Chrome, Web, and our native Android and iOS apps. His teams have integrated... Read More →
avatar for Diane Wagner

Diane Wagner

Director, Language Solutions, Microsoft
Access to information in a language an individual understands is a human right. At Microsoft, we’re working on automated language solutions - machine translation and speech recognition - that support many scenarios, including humanitarian relief. 

Tuesday March 21, 2017 1:30pm - 3:15pm
CL5 - Altoona Curve 1500 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA 93403

Attendees (22)