The two Sapienza's Erc projects that have transformed science
Two projects supervised as Principal Investigator by Roberto Navigli, of the Department of Computer Science, have been selected by the European Research Council among the 15 projects of 2021 that show how ERC has transformed science. MultiJEDI and MOUSSE, already winners of a Starting grant and a Consolidator grant, have again been selected among other highly selective projects and placed in a sort of 1% of the year's best Erc projects.
MultiJEDI, Navigli's first project, between 2011 and 2016, focused on automatic multilingual natural language understanding in Artificial Intelligence. “We tackled lexical ambiguity and solved it by analysing the context in which words are used, also creating the largest multilingual encyclopaedic dictionary, BabelNet" – says the researcher. From this project, in 2016, the startup Sapienza Babelscape was also born, which deals with semantic and multilingual natural language processing, collaborating with national and European public bodies and with major international companies. MultiJEDI has also received prestigious awards such as the Artificial Intelligence Journal Prominent Paper Award (2017) and the META prize (2015).
The second Erc project to be selected is MOUSSE. Started in 2017, the project will end in 2022 and, through the creation of innovative neural networks, "will allow the computer to understand not only single words in a context but entire sentences, thus achieving a language-independent representation of the meaning of the text for even more sophisticated artificial intelligence applications" - concludes Roberto Navigli.
The European Research Council (ERC) funds excellent researchers intending to support the dynamism and creativity of research carried out in the EU Member States or associated countries by supporting innovative and highly competitive projects led by Principal Investigators (PI), researchers with outstanding track records.
Roberto Navigli is one of the few researchers in Europe to have received two prestigious grants from Erc. His work in this limited number of projects confirms the high quality of the research carried out at Sapienza.