Gallaudet partners with SignAll to develop automatic sign language translation software

March 17, 2017

Author: Kaitlin Luna

man sitting behind a large monitor signing with special gloves

Gallaudet University and SignAll have formed a partnership to develop an automatic sign language translation software. Click here to see a demo video.

Gallaudet University is the world’s only liberal arts university for deaf and hard of hearing students. SignAll is a research and development start-up company from Budapest, Hungary. For this project, Gallaudet is providing American Sign Language (ASL) and telecommunications accessibility expertise, and SignAll is providing sign language translation technology services for spoken languages.

Faculty from Gallaudet’s Department of Interpretation and Translation are giving professional consultation services while students are involved as ASL models to provide sign language data and they also are serve as operators of the recording technology.

Gallaudet’s Technology Access Program, which is a unit devoted to creating equality in telecommunications, is a critical component as well. Staff are providing translation and computer language processing expertise on the type of vocabulary words and sentences that are recorded for the software.

 “The goal of the partnership is to create full accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing people and to broaden the possibilities of communication across different languages and modalities,” said Dr. Patrick Boudreault, associate professor in the Gallaudet Department of Translation and Interpretation. “I am thrilled that our students are involved in this process of learning applications of artificial intelligence.”

“It is critical in any research related to the deaf community that deaf and hard of hearing people be involved in each step of the process,” said Dr. Christian Vogler, director of the Technology Access Program. “In my own research, I pioneered work in sign language recognition and am honored to be part of the progress toward large-scale application. This collaboration is also a tremendous way to expand our science and technology opportunities on campus.”

“This is a unique opportunity to examine sign language in context and the cooperation is key to successfully delivering the best possible translation software,” said Zsolt Robotka, CEO of SignAll. “We aim to have a pilot version of SignAll available within one year.”

SignAll Technologies was founded by and spun off from the Budapest-based research and development center of Dolphio Technologies, and was recently incorporated by venture capitalists Credo Ventures, Perion Fund and Conor Fund.