Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Press Release 102/2016

Information Technologies Bring the World Closer Together

25 Years of “interACT”: Scientific Symposium in Baden-Baden Presents Latest Developments Under the Slogan “Building Bridges – Breaking Barriers”
Thanks to the simultaneous translation system developed at KIT, foreign students can follow German lectures more easily (picture: Sandra Göttisheim, KIT)

Information technologies have fundamentally changed human communication in the past 25 years, and have brought the world closer together.  Even so, it continues to be important to overcome barriers – physical borders, different languages and cultures, and a lack of medical care and education. On July 14 and 15, the symposium titled “Building Bridges – Breaking Barriers” will present the latest developments in language and translation technologies, medical applications, neural networks, multimodal interfaces, dialog processing, and intelligent interaction with machines and robots at Baden-Baden Kurhaus. The “interACT” research network is celebrating its 25th birthday with the symposium. It was founded by the then University of Karlsruhe, now the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, USA.


Leading scientists from around the world and representatives from industry and politics will talk about the current state of research, as well as scientific breakthroughs and their implementation and specific application.


One of the topics covered at the symposium is automatic translation, one of the main areas of research of Alexander Waibel, a professor at KIT and CMU, and the director of interACT. Whether it's the automatic translation of lectures for foreign students, support for translators at the European Parliament, or the translation of telephone calls, the possible applications are virtually limitless. The topic will be looked at from various angles in short presentations and panel discussions. An exhibition featuring live demonstrations provides the option for attendees to try out technologies (see “Language/Translation Technology” and “Interpretation” sections in the program below).


You will find the detailed program of the symposium at: www.interact25.org.


The “international center for Advanced Communication Technologies (interACT)”

The task of interACT is to develop advanced communication technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence. Starting off as an informal collaboration between two partners, it has now grown into a center with partners which are among the leading information technology institutions worldwide:


- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany
- Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
- National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Nara, Japan
- Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
- Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
- University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
- Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa, Italy
- Institute of Science and Technology, Nara, Japan


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

le, 05.07.2016
Monika Landgraf

Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer

Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Margarete Lehné

Margarete Lehné
Deputy Head of Press Office

Phone: +49 721 608-41157

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Contact for this press release:

Margarete Lehné
Stellvertretende Pressesprecherin
Phone: +49 721 608-21157
Fax: +49 721 608-45681
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The press release is available as a PDF file.