Newsletter #30 – September 2023
Dear reader,

After our short summer break and the end of the ELE 2 project, we’re happy to be back with a new edition of our newsletter packing a variety of LT news with a focus on the latest developments in Europe. Read about European countries that have launched their own national language technology platforms, OpenAI’s road ahead in Europe, European LLM alternatives, and the latest in AI regulation.

In the context of the news updates, be sure to (re)visit the exciting presentations of this year’s META-FORUM, available in full length on our YouTube channel

We’re also taking a closer look at the STOA technical feasibility study for the development of a European streaming platform for European national news accessible in all EU languages in a dedicated section.

Finally, the The Horizon Europe project UTTER has an open FSTP call for project proposals to develop and/or pilot applications of large pretrained language models with a focus on enabling human-human and human-machine interaction that is open until October 15, 2023.

With best regards

Georg Rehm
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Language Technology and NLP in the news
Social media highlights
News Highlight: European LLMs

On 20 August, Silo AI, in collaboration with TurkuNLP at the University of Turku, announced the launch of a significant initiative to promote open and trustworthy Large Language Models. The goal is to ensure digital sovereignty in Europe and to make LLMs accessible to all. This initiative includes the development of the world's largest open-source language model, covering all official European languages.

To achieve this, the consortium will have access to approximately 15 million GPU hours and will ensure that data used in these models accurately represent European languages. The project will adhere to European regulations and collaborate closely with key European institutions and agencies. Additionally, this open-source initiative will democratise LLM access and enable use-case specific downstream applications.

The consortium has access to high-performance computing resources, including the LUMI supercomputer.

Language Technology Publications

A team of social scientists working with global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group published a working paper on Artificial Intelligence and its role in reshaping the future of work. Titled “Navigating the Jagged Technological Frontier: Field Experimental Evidence of the Effects of AI on Knowledge Worker Productivity and Quality”, the paper details the results of the team examining the performance implications of AI on realistic, complex, and knowledge-intensive tasks. After establishing a performance baseline on a similar task, subjects were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: no AI access, GPT-4 AI access, or GPT-4 AI access with a prompt engineering overview. The study suggests that the capabilities of AI create a “jagged technological frontier” where some tasks are easily done by AI, while others, though seemingly similar in difficulty level, are outside the current capability of AI. 

Consultants using AI finished 12.2% more tasks on average, completed tasks 25.1% more quickly, and produced 40% higher quality results than those without.

In addition to the paper itself, one of the team members has documented the paper’s results in an easy-to-follow blog post.

STOA Technical Feasibility Study

In our previous newsletter edition, we briefly introduced the technical feasibility study for the development of a European streaming platform for European national news accessible in all EU languages that was published by the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology. In this section, we want to take a closer look at it.

The study, prepared and conducted by a team of 21 researchers from six different research labs of the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), envisions a digital public space where EU citizens can easily access national news in their own languages, eliminating language barriers and providing access to reliable news content from across the EU. 

To make this vision a reality, support is needed from high-quality European broadcasters, including public broadcasters, media companies, non-governmental organizations, and various stakeholders, including citizens. These entities will collaborate to share broadcasts, media-related content, and data, as well as to develop innovative solutions, thus creating a multilingual focal point that bundles together all high-quality European news broadcasts in one platform. It would enable EU citizens to discover and consume news in multiple languages seamlessly, thanks to advanced AI-based language technologies. These technologies include automatic speech recognition for transcription and indexing, machine translation for subtitles, and even automatic speech-to-speech translation for fully automated dubbed programs.

Ensuring the platform's resilience against external manipulation is of utmost importance. The platform would leverage a diverse set of artificial intelligence technologies to process audiovisual content and provide fair, balanced search, discovery, and recommendation mechanisms. This endeavor represents a significant step forward, enabling communication across language barriers at a continental scale.

FSTP Funding Opportunity
UTTER FSTP Call Banner

Funding opportunity for research organization and SMEs – Development and Application of Deep Models for eXtended Reality:


The Horizon Europe project, UTTER, invites project proposals from research organizations and SMEs to develop and/or pilot applications of large pretrained language models with a focus on enabling human-human and human-machine interaction. Successful applications will receive up to € 60 000 each, and run for 6-9 months. The call closes on October 15, 2023. 

Below is an exhaustive compilation of essential documentation pertaining to the Submission & Evaluation process:

Proposals are to be submitted via UTTER’s proposal management portal at:

Selected new tools and resources on the
European Language Grid

UPSKILLS Teaching and Learning Content – This month’s resource is a collection of modular teaching and learning content created in the UPSKILLS project ( UPgrading the SKIlls of Linguistics and Language Students) and downloaded from the Moodle platform in .mbz format. The learning content can be reused and adapted by curriculum designers, lecturers, and instructors of courses in linguistics and language-related subjects. Different blocks or individual units within a block can be combined to create new learning paths at the BA and MA levels. Some of the learning content is also suitable for the PhD level. Students can also use the content for self-study, considering this is not a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). 

UPSKILLS content is under CC-BY 4.0 International license, allowing sharing and modification with proper credit. Learn more on the UPSKILLS project website and related guides. Project deliverables are available on Zenodo in the UPSKILLS Community.
Upcoming Events

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Next edition

The next ELT newsletter will be sent out on 24 October 2023. Until then, follow our ELT social media accounts (as linked below) for the latest news!

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