Assistant Professor Marine Carpuat receives Maryland Catalyst Fund New Direction 2019 Award

Marine Carpuat receives the award for her new project "Smart Machine Translation with Social Sensitivity: Facilitating Workplace Inclusion Through Socio-technical Solutions" in collaboration with Ge Gao, INFO-Information Studies school
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Their study focuses on inclusion across language boundaries in organizations. The United States has 27.4 millions of migrant domestic workers and 42.3 millions of worldwide employees at offshore multinational organizations. Workplace communication often involves multiple languages, which can exclude people who do not speak a language in use, lead to social fragmentation between language groups, and hurt information sharing.

The project brings together a unique combination of expertise in machine translation (MT) and computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) to develop a smart machine translator with social sensitivity and promote inclusion across languages. The smart translator will process conversations in foreign languages and provide translations at different levels of specificity depending on in-situ needs.

The New Directions funds support a proof-of-concept Wizard-of-Oz study to validate that speaker’s value MT specificity in these settings. It pushes the boundary of research in MT by establishing a human-centered evaluation matrix for machine translation. It also informs new directions of research in CSCW by exploring how human speakers and MT can navigate through workplace interactions as a joint system.

The Maryland Catalyst Fund program – formerly known as the Faculty Incentive Program – is the University of Maryland’s internal faculty research support program and a key resource in the university’s overall effort to expand its research activity

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