Is that a fish in your ear, or are you just happy to hear me?

Google is working hard on re-creating Douglas Adams‘ famous idea of a babel fish, but will they succeed (source)? They are facing two main issues:

1. Voice recognition – I do not use it on my iPhone, and it drives me nuts in the car. So what grand technological secrets can they possibly have up their sleeve?

2. Translation – No machine translation will ever be as good as a human translator. Or will it? Will I have to go and look for another career? With so much content in so many languages now being posted to the internet, all you would have to do is feed it into a database and somehow map/match phrases or segments. Trouble is, not everyone is a professional writer. So how do you allow for typos, poor grammar and lack of punctuation? Never mind the complexities of human language.

To be continued…

  1. MT will never work the way civilians (non-translators) think it can work. The reason for this is really simple: one can not translate anything without understanding it first, at least on a basic level. And machines, by definition, will never understand anything. Dogs understand stuff, even goldfish do.

    But machines never will.

    BTW, I linked to your new blog.

    Steve Vitek

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