Ep5 – Google Neural Machine Translation | Translator City Radio

In Episode 5 of Translator City Radio, featuring John Moran from Silicon Valley CAT tool providers LILT, we cover Google’s announcement of their neural machine translation technology and their exaggerated claims that it is nearly human quality. We think there will still be plenty of translation jobs around, and as always, sign-up for our launch notification since our goal is to help translators get great jobs.

Listen on the radio page or directly in the widget to the right.

According to Wired magazine, the deep neural network, or “deep learning” that powered Google’s AlphaGo program, which defeated Go champion Lee Sedol, is now improving Google’s machine translation, currently available in Chinese to English. For those listeners who know little of the strategy board game Go, it’s an insanely difficult game to master that requires a great deal of intuition in addition to the cold calculation prominent in chess. It’s no surprise then when Google says that translation errors will be reduced by as much as 60%.

In related news, Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft announced a partnership, almost on the same day, called the “Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society.” This partnership is meant to “conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license in areas such as ethics, fairness and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability and robustness of the technology.” They have written 8 “rules” for A.I. that bring to mind Asimov’s 3 rules of robotics. Will this group lobby the government for loose regulation, or will they focus on human issues? And does this mean we’re going to see A.I. in our lifetime?

In popular culture, the film Her, directed by Spike Jonze and starring Zingword favorite Joaquin Phoenix, captures a hypothetical Singularity event, that much theorized about moment when a machine begins to truly think for itself. The film brought the notion of the singularity event into popular culture. Did it change the way we think of Artificial Intelligence?

We mostly cover machine translation, though. 😛