Statement from COST Action 19102 ‘Language In The Human-Machine Era’ on the situation in Ukraine
‘Language in the Human-Machine Era’ (LITHME) is a network connecting researchers and practitioners across Europe and beyond. We stand proudly with Ukraine as a member of our European family.
LITHME values all languages and works for peaceful use of language technologies. We condemn the use of these technologies for misinformation, disinformation and polarisation of society. We condemn attempts to create enemies among the Belarussian, Ukrainian and Russian nations, and even to deny the existence of entire nations and their languages. We condemn all uses of language technology for discrimination, destruction, or denial of human rights.
In 2021, our funders — the COST Association — celebrated 50 years of “science without borders”. COST exists to bring researchers and practitioners together in a spirit of cooperation and shared progress, thereby contributing to the values of the European Union. LITHME is also committed to these values of collaboration, serendipity, and open inquiry leading to new discoveries. Now, in 2022, we are shaken to learn of an attempt to drastically redraw the borders of Europe, and to threaten that very openness we hold so dear.
We follow the European Commission1 in condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine. It is an act of aggression which threatens more than the region’s stability; it also seeks to undermine the values on which we are building our future: peace, stability, tolerance, respect for human rights, and scientific collaboration and exchange for the common good.
We stand with Ukraine and its people who protect their territory, their children, their language, their culture, and their future. We also stand with Belarussians and Russians who oppose these actions, many of whom are bravely protesting despite risks to their own freedom.