Tilburg University department Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence

Inclusive and Sustainable Machine Translation

Machine translation (MT), the task of automatically translating text in one language, into text in another language using a computer system, has undergone many shifts since its inception in the late 1950s. The latest of which, neural machine translation (NMT), has reached unprecedented translation qualities at almost human-level performance, of course for some uses and under certain conditions.

  • Dimitar Shterionov

    dr. Dimitar Shterionov

    Principal Investigator

MT has become an indispensable tool for professional translators (to assist in the translation workflow), for commercial users, e.g., e-commerce companies (to make their content quickly available in multiple languages), to every-day users (to access information unrestricted by the language in which it is produced).

User- and use-case-centric MT

We focus on the specific user requirements as well as the domain, the language, the style, etc. of a specific use-case. Through smart data analysis, selection and processing and optimized models we investigate faster and better tools that are tuned towards users and use-cases.

Inclusive Language Technology

Current MT and NLP models exacerbate bias and may produce inaccurate or sometimes even offensive outputs. An important research direction we are undertaking is to explore bias-related language phenomena and also to develop techniques to mitigate bias.

Sustainable and Environmentally Conscious AI

We study the environmental impact of language technology and ways to cut down the use of computing resources without losing quality. Can we reduce, reuse and reorganize for a less intrusive technology?


SignON Is a 3-year H2020 project that aims to facilitate the exchange of information between deaf, hard of hearing and hearing individuals across Europe, by conducting state of the art research and developing a mobile solution for automatic translation between sign and spoken (written and spoken) languages.

It is an unprecedented project, not only because an effective communication service between the target groups has not been previously developed, but also because of the user-centric and open research and innovation approach which revolves around a co-creation workflow.


  • European Union of the Deaf
  • Aglatech14
  • Microsoft Ireland
  • FINCONS Group
  • MAC
  • Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal
  • VRT
  • Vlaams Gebarentaal Centrum
  • Netherlands Gebarentaal Centrum
  • De Nederlandse TaalUnie
  • Acapela-group
  • Dublin City University
  • The ADAPT Centre
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Dublin
  • University of the Basque Country
  • Pompeu Fabra University
  • Technical University Dublin
  • Radboud University
  • KU Leuven
  • University of Naples “L'Orientale”
  • University of Turku
  • University of Surrey