Friday, January 16, 2015

Skype Translator Review: Impressive, but Far from Human | MIT Technology Review

Excerpt from another natural language market dynamics snapshot

"Microsoft’s software tries to filter out “disfluencies” (such as “um,” “ah,” and repetitions) on the word and sentence level. Some of these disfluencies made it through during my conversation, but the translation still occurred with impressive speed and accuracy.

The limitations of Skype’s translation software are also revealing, since they show how difficult it is for even the smartest machine to mimic the subtleties of effective human conversation. Determining which meaning of a word is appropriate in different contexts can be vexing. “If software is translating between American and British English, and it recognizes the word ‘football,’ it also needs to know when to change it to ‘soccer’ and when to keep it as ‘football’ or ‘gridiron,’” says Christopher Manning, a professor of linguistics and computer science in Stanford University’s Natural Language Processing Group."
Skype Translator Review: Impressive, but Far from Human | MIT Technology Review
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