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CLARIN and the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to improve social and economic wellbeing across the globe through joint action. CLARIN ERIC acknowledges the fundamental importance of these goals and actively contributes to their achievement. Finding solutions for the societal challenges that we face today requires innovative methods and cross-border collaboration. CLARIN ERIC offers the resources, technology, and know-how necessary for the development of cutting-edge data-driven approaches as well as a platform for collaboration across countries and disciplines.

Goal 4: Quality Education

CLARIN ERIC contributes to SDG 4 in significant ways by helping to increase digital literacy across Europe and beyond. While digital technology has radically transformed the way we live, and will become increasingly important in the future, the pace of digital literacy is lagging behind the pace of technological advancement.

One of CLARIN ERIC’s core strategies is to increase data literacy among researchers and citizens, and to educate new generations of data professionals. In practice, this means making resources as openly available as possible and supporting the adoption of guidelines for responsible data science practises. Specifically, CLARIN ERIC contributes multilingual educational resources and tools, teaching material (e.g. training suite, trainer network programme, teaching award), a platform that fosters the exchange of knowledge (e.g. K-centre network, mobility grants), and a range of interdisciplinary workshops and conferences. For a recent example of cross-disciplinary and multilingual collaboration using CLARIN’s open-access digital tools and resources, read our impact story about the Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon 2021: ‘Parliamentary Debates in COVID Times’.

 

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

CLARIN is an innovation hub for many of the technologies that are transforming the economy and society more widely: deep learning, automatic speech recognition, machine translation and artificial intelligence (AI). CLARIN responds to the growing need for language data-related services by offering access to an invaluable wealth of tools and data, as well as expertise and training for data-processing tasks.

In the local context, many national CLARIN consortia serve as a liaison between industry and academia for industry actors who seek academic partners for collaboration and joint projects. CLARIN facilitates research and innovation by providing much-needed high-quality data and technology, training, as well as a platform for cross-disciplinary, cross-national collaboration. For example, through the Bridging Gaps Call, CLARIN aims to connect its own resources to widely used external language technology. Watch the keynote by Elena González Blanco at CLARIN2021 on the importance of natural language processing and language technologies for improving algorithms in the music industry here.

 

Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

CLARIN contributes to peace, justice and strong institutions by hosting a large variety of data from parliaments and other public bodies. By providing sustainable access to such data in a structured and annotated form, CLARIN supports democratic values and the transparency of political decisions at national and international levels. Parliamentary data corresponds directly to recent events, including those with a global impact on human health, social life and economics. It is imperative for such data to be available and easily accessible. Moreover, with the recent advances of artificial intelligence, analytics on parliamentary data is becoming a prerequisite for reliable approaches in validating information in contemporary society.

CLARIN’s flagship project ParlaMint is a multi-lingual, comparable and searchable dataset of recent parliamentary debates from 17 countries. ParlaMint turns contemporary parliamentary data into interpretable and comparable resources. Focused on the COVID-19 emergency, the project provides data for observations on trends, opinions, and decisions on lockdowns, as well as the consequences in terms of health, medical care and employment. ParlaMint enables scientific and civil communities from various disciplines to track the pan-European discussion, driving increased transparency both nationally and internationally. ParlaMint’s methodology is scalable to other subjects and emergencies, such as economic crises and environmental issues. For instance, parliamentary data are an invaluable source for empirical gender studies (see for example Fišer, D and Pahor de Maiti, K 2020 Voices of the Parliament. Modern Languages Open, 2020(1): 46. DOI:https://doi.org/10.3828/mlo.v0i0.295) and are a key reference point for debates on climate action. For an illustration of the various ways in which parliamentary corpora can address issues ranging from climate, migration, COVID-19 and gender, see for instance the presentation by Miguel Pieters during the CLARIN Café on ParlaMint.