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Google Translate's new Arificial Intelligence?
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:50
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Spanish to English
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Dec 15, 2016

The Great A.I. Awakening | How Google used AI to transform GoogleTranslate

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/magazine/the-great-ai-awakening.html

Note added: Currently only works for English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish.

[Edited at 2016-12-15 14:57 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-12-16 00:22 GMT]


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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
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Romanian to English
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Depends Dec 15, 2016

I just tried translating a random sentence from English to Hungarian using Google Translate. It's rubbish, makes absolutely no sense.
But it is indeed better the other way around, from Hungarian into English. It is still closer to rubbish than to professional standards, but at least it grasps the (really-really) basic meaning.

Not all clients need a top-notch translation of all texts. If the client only wants to understand the general meaning of a text, Google Translate might work in some pairs - but then, a client like that probably wouldn't pay a professional translator anyway, but just ask anyone who speaks the language to do it at a much lower cost.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:50
English to Spanish
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Clickbait Dec 15, 2016

Are we so stupid to even consider the question Are translators no longer needed?

Pick a book, a hobby, work with your hands, sculpt something, or even clean your attic. Even the most menial of tasks is better than to entertain such mind-numbing statement.


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Carole Wolfe  Identity Verified
United States
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Not perfect yet Dec 15, 2016

I think it'll be quite some time before Google Translate can capture all the nuances of language. As far as spoken language goes, it has to contend with the idiosyncrasies of each human's speech.

I just tested Goggle Translate from English to Russian. My English sentence was "That woman is hip." The Russian version that was produced translates as "That woman is a thigh." I think that some Russian women would be offended if they were described that way.


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Tomasz Sienicki  Identity Verified
Denmark
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Hungarian and Russian are not supported yet Dec 15, 2016

Annamaria Amik wrote:

I just tried translating a random sentence from English to Hungarian using Google Translate.

Carole Wolfe wrote:

I just tested Goggle Translate from English to Russian.



According to the article Hungarian and Russian haven't been rolled out yet, the new engine works with: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Turkish. More languages will be added in 2017.

[Edited at 2016-12-15 14:07 GMT]


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SusieSmith
United Kingdom
Is this technology now used in Google Translate? Dec 15, 2016

I use Google Translate API now and then for German-> English.

It is not good enough to be considered reliable for a person who does not know both languages. Sometimes the translations are incorrect and misleading, sometimes they make no sense at all. Depending on the text and style, it sometimes manages to translate a sentence with no errors (about 5% of the time).

So am I missing something here? I have noticed no improvements recently. Supposedly GT is meant to work well with this language combination?


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Michal Fabian  Identity Verified
Canada
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I'll start getting worried... Dec 15, 2016

... when Google Inc. starts using Google Translate to localize their own sensitive legal documents.

As long as there is something important at stake for the client/author/recipient, translators will be around.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
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TOPIC STARTER
Dec 15, 2016



[Edited at 2016-12-15 15:08 GMT]


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
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TOPIC STARTER
Dec 15, 2016



[Edited at 2016-12-15 15:08 GMT]


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Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Estonia
English to Russian
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Let's see what happens, but I don't expect human levels of quality Dec 15, 2016

While I'm very interested to see what they have in store for Russian, something tells me it won't be anything approaching human levels of quality, not for specialized translation anyway. With tightly controlled language at the source, it's possible (not with Google though) to have adequate quality right now (I mean understandable and technically correct). But ultimately, my opinion is that to really replace translators, computers will have to replace the authors first—at least considering the amount of time I personally have to spend wrestling with bad source texts.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
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Will some farmers no longer be needed? Dec 15, 2016

Drones can take pictures of the fields, computers can analyse the needs of water and fertilizer, automatic devices can measure temperature, rainfall and wind, machinery can go to the place with no driver and plough and harvest the land. Farmers, please start looking for another job as two experts sitting on a computer will soon be able to farm 30,000 hectares yearly!

Speaking of translators, developers of MT say that translators will be out of job "in two weeks", but MT is so far just a Money Pit for private and public investment!


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Steven Foster
United States
English to German
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I wouldn't worry Dec 15, 2016

No worries, AI has been around for decades, repeatedly shown all its limits, can safely be regarded as a general failure. It if worked, we would already have plenty of machine-generated literature, music or movies.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
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English to Afrikaans
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See also Dec 15, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:
The Great A.I. Awakening | How Google used AI to transform GoogleTranslate


See also:
http://www.proz.com/forum/machine_translation_mt/309941.html


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Andrea Diaz
Mexico
Local time: 19:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Great. Dec 15, 2016

I'm amazed by how far Google Translate has advanced. I've been using since I was young when I didn't have a good grasp of the language. It used to be garbage, but today it's pretty reliable if you want to have a general idea of the content of the text.

I don't know when and if MT will replace us all. I don't want to get too complacent about my skills.

[Edited at 2016-12-15 17:31 GMT]


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:50
German to English
Answer: Yes Dec 15, 2016

I don't have time at the moment to read and digest the article in its entirety, but a quick glance confirms that it seems to update what I already read in "The Rise of the Robots" (an excellent book - highly recommended) and read and heard elsewhere, e.g. at the ATA conference this year: neural MT really is going to be a game-changer.

I've been testing Google Translate's new neural MT engine for German-English financial and legal texts and am truly astonished at how good it already is. I've been using German texts that, although not confidential, I know have not been published, so they haven't already been captured by GT for learning. In a majority of cases, I would rate the translations as being of the same quality of a good junior translator: room for improvement, certainly, but definitely on the right track. And I'm sure that the occasional weird errors would be eliminated once the final version had been fed back into the machine. (One caveat here: I also tested Systran's self-proclaimed neural MT engine, and the results on the same texts were laughable. Not everything that claims to be neural MT is necessarily competition for GT).

We're talking about complicated financial and legal texts here, not marketing materials, but that figures: AI is also making huge inroads into the legal profession and the field of finance, so it's hardly surprising that GT is now keeping pace with those developments. In the field of law, for example, AI is already starting to take over discovery tasks that were previously handled by interns and juniors. The book I referred to above argues persuasively that the number of openings for law graduates is set to decline rapidly, even as the number of law graduates is increasing. That's not a situation that can persist for much longer.

In our own profession, many people have been saying for many years that MT encourages a race to the bottom. I think this is about to change: I argue that neural MT will drive a race to the *top*, as more translators begin to understand that they will only be able to safeguard their long-term economic future if they specialise to a far greater extent by acquiring high-level domain expertise and absolute mastery of translation technologies and skills. This in turn will also necessarily entail a further widening of the existing divide between premium and mass market translators, and it can only be a matter of time before the economic opportunities available to mass market translators are unable to support the current numbers.

I've been trying to get MT to work for well over twenty years now, starting with IBM Heidelberg's "Logic Based Machine Translation". I also field-tested the first Windows port of METAL. The results then, and in the intervening years, were very disappointing. But I now think that neural MT offers a real opportunity to finally achieve what I've been saying for years: MT will be deployed most effectively and profitably by humans as part of a suite of integrated technologies managed and mediated by expert, specialised human translators.

Your mileage may differ....


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