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Robert L. Mercer receives the 2014 ACL Lifetime Achievement Award

Bob Mercer and colleagues forcefully demonstrated the power of big data approaches to language problems, decades before the term “big data” was invented, and at a time when computers were orders of magnitude less powerful, and big data work was difficult and slow to do, even at one of the world’s premier technology companies. But the impact of their work was revolutionary: The probabilistic approaches to computational linguistics that Bob and colleagues pioneered now dominate the field of machine translation, and provide the underpinning of many of the tools that people now regularly use, such as speech recognizers on mobile phones, context-sensitive spelling correction, and web-based machine translation systems.


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Remko Scha The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) mourns the passing of Remko Jan Hendrik Scha (15 September 1945 – 9 November 2015), who made important contributions to the study of semantics, and discourse analysis through his work on Dynamic Discourse Model (with Livia Polanyi).

Authors affiliated with the Allen Institute have published a few papers at the upcoming EMNLP conference that have been featured in the New York Times' 20 September 2015 issue.