It was a great honour to welcome Prof Farouk Boubadiba from University of Oran, Algeria, to Wolverhampton.
Prof Boubadiba gave a very interesting talk on ‘Prospects for NLP in Algeria’. An abstract can be found below:
Abstract: Natural Language Processing (NLP) has long been looked at as ‘incompatible’ with the Arabic Language. As early as the 50’s, a number of studies were conducted especially in the US to try to find ways to adapt this language to computing and the machine. Goldsmith’s Auto segmental apparatus for example and other models have shown that Arabic, as any other language, can be segmented and analysed by the machine. Today’s web sites in Arabic, SMS, on line dictionaries, automatic translators and the like show clearly that the Arabic script, syntax and morphology can be handled through algorithms and other computing devices to put this powerful derivational language into information and data collection networks. We shall try to show how, compared to the last two decades or so, the Arabic language has finally gained momentum in the world of information networks, translation studies and technological transfer. We shall also mention the increasing demand by some socio-economic sectors in Algeria for natural language processing and data mining in order to reach better production outputs. For example, some attempts at automation by means of controlled languages have proven to be very useful in sectors such as Health, Security, Trade and Commerce, Banking, Tourism etc. in Algeria.