New technology to produce real-time English transcripts of
foreign-language handwritten notes and printed documents
Cambridge, Mass., July 16, 2012 — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Raytheon BBN Technologies an additional $5.9 million in funding under the Multilingual Automatic Document Classification, Analysis and Translation (MADCAT) program. This award follows Raytheon BBN’s success during the first four years of the MADCAT program. BBN is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN).
The Raytheon BBN team’s goal is to create a prototype system that provides accurate, relevant, distilled, actionable information to military commands and personnel. If successful, the system will automatically convert foreign language text images, such as handwritten notes and machine-printed documents, into English transcripts without the use of linguists and analysts. When human analysis is necessary, linguists and analysts would be able to use the technology to more effectively and efficiently explore the content of documents of interest.
“Foreign language translation on the battlefield is slow, unreliable, difficult to access and expensive,” said Prem Natarajan, head of Speech and Language Processing at Raytheon BBN Technologies. “By putting translation capability directly in the hands of the end user, MADCAT technologies will help our troops understand handwritten and printed documents that could be of immediate importance to their safety and to the successful completion of their missions.”
Under the contract, Raytheon BBN will:
- Advance previous work under the MADCAT program to refine a laptop-deployable prototype translation system.
- Integrate optical character recognition with Raytheon BBN’s state-of-the-art translation and distillation techniques.
- Develop novel methods to process handwritten text.
Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion and 71,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 90 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter at @raytheon.