Language In The Human-Machine Era (LITHME)

Main funder

Funder's project numberCA19102

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 173 063,50

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date01/11/2020

Project end date31/10/2024


Technology is increasingly influencing language use around the world, and this influence will only accelerate. What are the possible implications of this, for us and for language as we know it?

Current influences on language use are fairly modest, including typing algorithms that track and record our individual writing patterns; and mobile translation that helps us understand and be understood in linguistically unfamiliar environments. Future developments of these technologies - and their successors - include a growing role of augmented reality, overlaying our own linguistic interactions with machine-generated inputs. This has major implications for how we conceptualise language use, and ultimately language itself.

As these language technologies become ever more closely integrated into our interactions, how will this affect language in areas such as international law, translation, and other forms of language work? What will this mean for how people identify with specific languages? And could an increasing reliance on real-time language technologies actually change the structure of language? Longer term, might developments in brain-machine interfaces serve to complement or even replace language altogether?

Meanwhile there are questions over how all this would be distributed, socially and geographically. Crucial issues over rights to accessibility and equitable distribution of technologies would sure accompany any such widespread societal adoption of language technology, just as has already happened over the last decades with personal computing and the internet.

The proposed EU COST Action would bring together a diverse range of researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds, including computational linguistics, sociolinguistics and language policy, and from a broad range of EU countries, to think through the potential significance of these developments. Working groups would focus on: law; language technology; language rights; language ideology; language learning; language work (including translation); and language variation & change. The COST system facilitates strong dialogue between working groups; the aim would be for enriched mutual understanding, and the establishment of a new field of inquiry within linguistics and adjacent fields.

Principal Investigator

Other persons related to this project (JYU)

Primary responsible unit

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Follow-up groups

Profiling areaCyber security (University of Jyväskylä JYU)Multidisciplinary research on learning and teaching (University of Jyväskylä JYU) MultiLeTeSchool of Wellbeing (University of Jyväskylä JYU) JYU.Well

Related publications and other outputs

Last updated on 2024-12-01 at 12:32