The Idea


People in this world are separated by walls;  walls that separate and hinder mutual understanding, love and compassion.  The roots are fear, hate, but also physical separation and cultural misunderstanding.

The “International Center for Advanced Communication Technologies (InterACT)” celebrates 25 years of work that defined key technologies to breaking down barriers between people.  InterACT has originated at Carnegie Mellon University (USA) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), and has since expanded to include 8 or the world’s leading research institutions working on communication technologies and artificial intelligence.

Some highlights at InterACT include the first speech-to-speech translator  (1991), a prototype that enables domain limited dialogs, the first speech translators on mobile phones (2009), automatic road sign translators from camera images (2003), interpretation goggles (2005), automatic simultaneous interpretation services for foreign students (2005, 2012) and interpretation support for the European Parliament (2014).

Other highlights include automatic subtitling for the hearing impaired, and smart room speech and visually guided communication (face, attention, gesture, emotion tracking) and robotic technologies for the elderly and “shut-ins”.

Many of the technologies have been deployed in humanitarian missions around the world as well as social and medical missions in the developing world.

The three day workshop will begin with a scientific symposium that reviews the state-of-the art, the history and future prospects of technologies for a barrier-free world.  The workshop will include demonstrations and laboratories tours. 

Following the scientific symposium, we will celebrate and agitate! We expect personalities from the media, arts, music, and government to celebrate how far we have come and raise awareness for what more needs to be done.