Have you ever wondered how Google manages to find relevant documents, even documents that do not contain any of the words you used in your search? Have you ever wished for an answer to a question rather than a list of documents? Have you ever talked to a conversational assistant on your smartphone, or to a computer on the phone about travel plans and wished you could make it work better? Have you ever used translation on the web and wondered how it could be improved?
These are just some of the topics students on the Language Technology programme will be working on, together with researchers from University of Gothenburg and Chalmers.
Language technology is about getting computers to understand and use human language, and involves collaboration between a number of different fields including linguistics, languages, computer science, and artificial intelligence. It is not only about research – lately we have seen commercial applications like Apple´s Siri and IBM´s Watson making it into the market. These are just two examples of great commercial work in language technology.
Students on our programme will get hands-on practical training grounded in theory, which will enable them to pursue a specialist career in industry or academic research involving the development of language technology systems. Some of our students may also get the opportunity to assist, in parallel with their studies, with research in one of the many projects at CLT.
Students first take two introductory courses, introducing programming for language technology applications, and relevant concepts and theories from formal linguistics. There will also be overviews of the main areas of modern language technology. This is followed by a general introduction to natural language processing (NLP), the nuts and bolts of getting computers to understand and process human language, and programming for NLP. The second semester starts off with dialogue systems and statistical methods for language technology. If you are taking the one year degree you will also carry out a shorter masters project in your second semester. Most students will aim for the two year degree, and will instead continue with courses on the structure of language, syntax, and its meaning, semantics. The first semester of the second year offers a choice from a variety of courses in language technology and related areas.
The final semester of the two year degree is entirely devoted to project work. Students normally conduct their final projects with an industry placement or with placement at one of the three research laboratories associated with the interdisciplinary Centre for Language Technology, CLT, at the University of Gothenburg.
Students with an undergraduate degree (at least three years full-time study) in language technology, computational linguistics, computer science or linguistics (with at least 30 hec, corresponding to half a year full-time study, in formal linguistics or programming) are eligible to apply for this programme. Students with an undergraduate degree in cognitive science, languages, philosophy, software engineering, information technology or mathematics can also be considered provided they can show a background in either programming or formal linguistics corresponding to 30 hec, half a year full-time study. Formal linguistics is linguistics that uses formal methods (e.g. rule based systems, trees, feature structures, graphs, finite state machines, logic, models and statistics) to study or represent language. To show a background in formal linguistics or programming, please supply for each course in formal linguistics or programming the following:
The programme language is English. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 5/English A from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.
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