The 1st Workshop on Automatic Simultaneous Translation

Challenges, Recent Advances, and Future Directions

Workshop at ACL 2020, Seattle, July 10, 2020
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First Call for Papers

The 1st Workshop on Automatic Simultaneous Translation (AutoSimTrans)
Workshop at ACL 2020, Seattle, Washington, USA

Friday, July 10, 2020

Submission Deadline: Saturday, April 25, 2020, 11:59pm
Submission Link: softconf


Simultaneous translation, which performs translation concurrently with the source speech, is widely useful in many scenarios such as international conferences, negotiations, press releases, legal proceedings, and medicine. It combines the AI technologies of machine translation (MT), automatic speech recognition (ASR), and text-to-speech synthesis (TTS), is becoming a cutting-edge research field.

As an emerging and interdisciplinary field, simultaneous translation faces many great challenges, and is considered one of the holy grails of AI. As an evidence of the growing importance of simultaneous translation within NLP, one of us (Liang) gave an invited talk at ACL 2019 on the recent advances in this field (see more at [13]). This workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners in machine translation, speech processing, and human interpretation, to discuss recent advances and open challenges of simultaneous translation. including: The architecture of simultaneous translation: traditional pipeline (ASR-MT-TTS) or end-to-end (speech-speech);

  • Translation models: robust, high quality, and low latency;
  • Data resources: large and high-quality corpora for training simultaneous translation systems.
  • Evaluation methods: metrics to evaluate the translation quality and time latency;
  • Machine aided simultaneous translation (MAST): improve the efficiency and quality of human interpreters;

Meanwhile, the workshop will also explore challenges for developing practical simultaneous translation systems and will provide opportunity for participants show their products.

We introduce two submission tracks in this workshop:


We are organizing a simultaneous translation shared task in two directions:
(a) Chinese-to-English, and
(b) English-to-Spanish,

and three modes:
(1) streaming clean text to text
(2) streaming ASR transcription to text
(3) streaming audio to text

In other words, there are six competitions in total.

We will provide open datasets and evaluation environment. Participants are encouraged (though not required) to submit their system description papers and present them at the Workshop.

For more information, please see the Shared Task page.


We have two sets of keynote speakers: 4 from simultaneous translation, and 2 from human interpretation research. We hope this workshop will greatly increase the communication and cross fertilization between the two fields. All these speakers are confirmed.

  • Jordan Boyd-Graber, Associate Professor, University of Maryland, USA
  • Colin Cherry, Research Scientist in Google Translate, Google Inc., Montreal, Canada
  • Qun Liu,Chief Scientist of Speech and Language Computing,Huawei Noah’s Ark Lab,China
  • Hua Wu, Chief Scientist of NLP, Baidu Inc., China
  • Kay-Fan Cheung, Associate Professor, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), China
  • Barry Slaughter Olsen, Professor, The Middlebury Institute of International Studies and Conference Interpreter, VP of Client Success, KUDO, and Member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), USA


We will have paper awards (best paper award, etc.) and shared task awards (based on evaluation performance) sponsored by the industrial sponsors.


We can offer partial financial aid to student authors who demonstrate significant financial need. Instructions on how to apply for financial assistance will be provided after paper acceptance decisions have been finalized.


Shared Task
  • January 2020: release of train and dev data
  • March 2020: evaluation period
  • Submission Deadline: Saturday, April 25, 2020 (both research and systems description papers)
  • Notification of Acceptance: Monday, Monday, May 11, 2020
  • Camera-ready Papers Due: Monday, May 18, 2020 Extended to Monday, May 25, 2020
  • Workshop: July 10 (Thursday or Friday), 2020

All submission deadlines are 11:59 PM GMT -12 (anywhere in the world).


Our AutoSimTrans Workshop follows the same submission policy from the ACL Submission Guidelines.

There are two formats: long papers (8 pages content plus unlimited references) and short papers (4 pages contect plus unlimited references). Authors can also upload a separate appendix of unlimited length, which is optional for the reviewers. The final versions of both long and short papers will be given one extra page of content to address reviewers comments.

For those who participate in the shared task, you are encouraged (though not requried) to submit a system description paper of 4 to 8 pages of content plus unlimited references to AutoSimTrans to describe your system.


  • Colin Cherry, Google, Canada;
  • James Cross, Facebook, USA;
  • Zhongjun He, Baidu Inc., China;
  • Liang Huang, Oregon State University and Baidu Research, USA;
  • Mark Liberman, Univ. of Pennsylvania, USA;
  • Yang Liu, Tsinghua University, China;
  • Hua Wu, Baidu Inc., China;

For further information, please visit workshop page



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