Congratulations to Prof. Carol Neidle on being awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for the project “Data & AI Methods for Modeling Facial Expressions in Language with Applications to Privacy for the Deaf, ASL Education & Linguistic Research”! Per Prof. Neidle:
I am delighted to announce that we have just been awarded grant funding from NSF for Phase I of a collaborative project involving BU (C. Neidle), Rutgers U. (D. Metaxas & M. D’Imperio), and RIT (M. Huenerfauth): ‘NSF Convergence Accelerator–Track D: Data & AI Methods for Modeling Facial Expressions in Language with Applications to Privacy for the Deaf, ASL Education & Linguistic Research.’
The goals of this project are to extend our previous research on facial analytics and linguistic analysis of American Sign Language (ASL) to develop several real-world applications that may benefit various user communities: (1) We will extend our tools and methods in order to enable analysis of the use of non-manual expressions in conjunction with spoken language (English). (2) We will develop a tool to assist learners of ASL to more accurately produce the facial expressions and head gestures critical to the grammar of the language (one of the most challenging aspects of L2 acquisition of ASL). (3) We will develop a tool for real-time anonymization of ASL videos, to preserve grammatical information expressed non-manually while de-identifying the signer, to enable private communication in ASL.
The combined total awarded to the 3 institutions for this 9-month grant is $960,000. Recipients of Phase I funding will then compete for 2 more years of funding in Phase II. Also participating in this project from BU will be Carey Ballard (BA 2019, Gallaudet U.; current BU MEd student in Deaf Education), Lutece Dekker (BU undergraduate, double major in Linguistics and Deaf Studies), and Indya Oliver (BU BS 2015 & MEd 2018; currently an educator of the deaf).
Congratulations to all the participants in this project!