Raytheon BBN Technologies awarded $2.5 million in intelligence funding for metaphor research

Goal is new technology to identify and organize metaphors in foreign languages to give US decision-makers enhanced global cultural insights

— The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), via the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), has awarded Raytheon BBN Technologies $2.5 million in funding under the METAPHOR program. BBN is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN).

The Raytheon BBN team’s goal is to create analysis tools and techniques that provide insight into the underlying beliefs and worldviews that metaphors reveal. The system will automatically find, identify and categorize linguistic metaphors in large amounts of foreign language text.

“Awareness and understanding of metaphors will provide novel insight into underlying cultural beliefs” said Prem Natarajan, head of speech and language processing for Raytheon BBN Technologies. “The ability to recognize and categorize these subtle and often unnoticed cultural metaphors in native-language text is an extremely difficult and multifaceted technology challenge.”

Under the contract, Raytheon BBN will:

  • Develop tools and techniques to identify, qualify and categorize metaphors;
  • Build a metaphor repository that identifies and links key elements of linguistic metaphors to the conceptual metaphor;
  • Develop a fully functional metaphorical language analysis system.

About Raytheon
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.