During the last week of April, the MeMAD project team was back in Helsinki for the fourth plenary meeting.
Before the plenary kicked off, members from Eurecom, Limecraft, Lingsoft, Aalto and INA got together on Wednesday to flesh out the principles for data handling and the use of RDF, based on an EBUCore-compatible model created by Eurecom to describe Yle and INA data. We thus spent a day hashing out details for taking theory into practice.
After this warming up day, it was time for the actual plenary. The first year of the MeMAD was dedicated to getting great results in different work packages, such as image analysis, audio event detection, speech recognition, machine translation, semantic analysis and creating models on audio description and semantic principles, as well as a preliminary consolidation of those data streams. This holistic approach, i.e. normalisation of different sources of data, human or machine generated, is the key to the solution for the problem of metadata overflow which is at the very core of MeMAD. So we did a lot of work as well on the specification of the use cases and the needs for data, and we worked with lawyers on making sure the data can be used. Creating the building blocks on which we will construct the rest of the project. Also, we looked back at the first year and decided on how to communicate better and allow two-way communication to our stakeholder groups.
The second year is dedicated to bringing together these results into solutions that bring value. The key objective of the Helsinki meeting, at the Minerva Learning Centre at the University of Helsinki, was to make a blueprint for such integrated approach. Dedicated working groups, operating side by side, bringing the MeMAD project to live. We talked in detail and honed out the use cases we will concentrate on. We selected the technology components that will be integrated into the demos and we discussed how to best evaluate them in multiple levels.
Knowledge truly is power. What is even more powerful, and wonderful, is to see the results when people coming from their own expertise zone, concentrating on the task at hand getting the little details ironed out and making something big together theme by theme.
MeMAD is about communication on all levels. It was great to see behind the scenes how we put our words to work when we do this together – communicating with each other. That is the true key to success and great results. Having experienced this, can´t wait for our next meeting in Surrey in September.
– Dr. Tiina Lindh-Knuutila, Solution Specialist at Lingsoft Language Services