'Tower of Babel' translator made
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:56
Flemish to English
+ ...
Oct 26, 2006

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6083994.stm
This technology is still in its infancy.
But where will it be in say 10 or 15 years from now?
No interpreter required anymore?

[Edited at 2006-10-26 12:07]


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Angeliki Papadopoulou  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 19:56
Member (2006)
English to Greek
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I have a picture in mind - it's very clear... Oct 26, 2006

Somewhere in the article it reads - and I quote:

"Electrodes are attached to the neck and face to detect the movements that occur as the person silently mouths words and phrases."

End quote

Once it gets past that stage, we should start getting worried. Until then...

Seriously though, technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. It is no longer in the realm of the impossible and I guess there will come a time...


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Shaun Avis
Germany
Local time: 18:56
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
Interpreting and AI Oct 26, 2006

The development of this kind of technology will be dependant on the development of AI (artificial intelligence). A system like this will only ever be as good as the AI behind it. Now, if someone comes up with a genuinely intelligent computer, the sky is the limit. But that will not just put interpreters and translators out of business. At that stage, almost any job could be achieved by a machine - including the programming of machines.

However, I think there will always be room for the human touch. People are tactile and they want to talk to and work with other people.


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Elliot Everett  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 13:56
Spanish to English
What the Slashdot crowd is saying about this article Oct 26, 2006

(for the geek point of view)
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/26/0049226&from=rss


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:56
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The parties concerned Oct 26, 2006

Institutions like the U.N. and certainly the E.U. would benefit most from such technology. They also have the funds to invest in such technology. An interpreter: no longer needed. Just attach two electrodes and that is it.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:56
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I was just going to post this... Oct 26, 2006

I've just seen it on the New Scientist site...

http://www.newscientisttech.com/article/mg19225755.800-its-the-next-best-thing-to-a-babel-fish.html

Now if it can only manage to pick the right phoneme sequence 62% of the time, I think the human interpreters are going to be in business for quite a while yet.

And there are thousands of languages where they haven't even started on the phonemes. With an indistinct language like Danish it will be difficult for a start, and if they don't get well up over 90% the results will still be unintelligible.

Believe me, I understand about 90 % of what my husband says after knowing him for over 30 years... but it's the last 7% that 's really crucial


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Deep-one  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
English to Russian
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Is it true?? Oct 26, 2006

I dont really believe this is reliable information

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Balaban Cerit  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 19:56
English to Turkish
+ ...
it will take more time than expected Oct 26, 2006

I certainly agree Christine, in some years' time such systems might be able to reach high accuracy - but the remaining 10-5% will be crucial. Such machines will have to be nearly perfect before they can be used.

I have read the article in BBC. It's a nice article but it says "the technology [is] "within reach"." Now we should focus on the "within reach" expression. I remember that 20-25 years ago I was reading how the technology of "holographic television" (three-dimensional TV, in short) was "within reach". Of course, there has been real progress in this field, in fact there are some products sold under this name - but exactly when do you think that you will be able to buy a high resolution "Holo TV" and watch your favorite TV series on it? I was fascinated with this idea several decades ago but now I don't hope to use this device in my lifetime. Technological development takes time and, as we have learned by now, the technical feasibility of a thing doesn't mean that it will be marketed soon - there are many other issues.

But I am sure that in the future, i.e. some time after our death, such machines will be perfected, along with some other very interesting things.

[Edited at 2006-10-26 15:37]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:56
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Back in 1980 Oct 27, 2006

I uttered my believe, that in 10 years time there would be a pocket calculator size computer able to do consecutive interpreting between two speakers of different languages. Well, now it seems there is more time need than 10 Years to go. It's a bit like fusion reactors, allways 50 years ahead.

Cheers
Heinrich


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María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 11:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Slashdot... Oct 28, 2006

Elliot Everett wrote:

(for the geek point of view)
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/26/0049226&from=rss


Hehe, of course those guys would quote Douglas Adams


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