Centre d’innovació i Tecnologia BARCELONATECH

TALP UPC

Language and Speech Technologies and Applications

The Center for Language and Speech Technologies and Applications (TALP) is specialized in the automatic processing of written and spoken natural language. Its aim is to help overcome language barriers by facilitating interaction between people, and between people and devices, and increasing the accessibility of multilingual information.

TALP UPC was founded in 1998, is comprised of a fifty-person team and is a member of the Catalan Cluster of Language Industries(CISTERLINGUA).

The Center works in the following research and development areas:

Automatic speech recognition

Transforms voice into text, which enables machines to understand what a person says and to interpret voice commands.

Text mining

Uses knowledge contained in texts for various purposes: to recover information, to extract information (to structure the unstructured knowledge within a text, to extract facts, events or relevant characteristics that are described in a text), to summarize automatically (to summarize one or more documents, and thus make it easier to access and understand them), to answer questions (to find the answer to a specific question in a set of documents).

Voice and audio recognition

Identifies the person who is speaking by characteristics of their voice (voice biometrics); identifies the language or dialect that is being spoken; detects the emotional state of the speaker; distinguishes whether a sound is speech, music, applause, background noise or another kind of signal; filters relevant acoustic signals in noisy environments.

Linguistic processor

Analyses the linguistics of texts, which is essential in any application that requires a certain degree of language comprehension. Linguistic processors carry out: morphological analysis, morphological and syntactic disambiguation, detection of groups and syntagms, construction of a syntactic tree, semantic analysis (disambiguation of meanings, roles and co-reference).

Speech synthesis

Converts text into speech, to generate intelligible, natural prosody that is appropriate for each application.

Human-machine dialogue systems

Can converse with a human for a specific purpose (to provide the required information, to make a sale or place an order), using coherent structures.

Automatic translation

Translates a text or speech from one language to another, to help people to access multilingual information; automatically subtitles audiovisual material.

TALP UPC is one of the main contributors to the computing cluster of the UPC’s Department of Software (LSI). Since 2004, it has had a smart room, which enables speech to be studied in a more natural context. It also has a multimedia laboratory in the Department of Signal Theory and Communications (TSC), equipped with an audio and TV recording studio.


TALP’s technology has led to two spin-offs: Verbio Technologies (founded in 1999) and HERTASECURITY in 2009).

The sectors in which these technologies can be applied, include the following:

Written and spoken communication mediaOnline opinion gathering and recommendation of contents or productsOnline reputation analysisVirtual assistants (language learning; online purchases; automobile, medical and tourism sector, among others)Assistance for disabled people with cognitive, speech or hearing problemsText mining in different domains (for example, medical and financial)Translation assistance servicesCustomer careCall centersSecurity and acoustic monitoringEntertainment industry: including dubbing films and subtitling

http://www.talp.upc.edu/ | info.cit@upc.edu | +34 93 405 46 90 | +34 93 405 44 19

  • BUSCAMEDIA

    The aim of this project is to make significant progress in the areas of semantics, audiovisual production and distribution of media enriched independently of networks or terminals, to create a multimedia semantic search engine that is unique worldwide. TALP was subcontracted by TV3 to give advice on the development of speech technology.

    Statements about the subtitling and translation system.

  • XLike

    The goal of this European project is to develop technology to monitor and aggregate knowledge that is currently spread across social media, and to enable cross-lingual services for content editors, media monitoring and to extract relevant information for financial or business purposes. XLike is based on analyzing a text to create a semantic representation that is independent from the original language. This representation can then be used to apply data mining and business intelligence techniques.

  • Freeling

    An open source library that provides language analysis services and can be used as the basis for developing language processing applications. It is licensed for commercial use. Demo

  • ASIYA

    An open source application with different metrics to assess the similarity between texts. It can be used to evaluate automatic translations, to aggregate documents, or for any other application that needs to measure the similarity between documents. See demo