BBC debate demonstrates power of real time machine translation

MT is in the news. On 4th March, The Economist published a review of what the web might feel like without linguistic barriers. “Cyber-multilinguism” is increasingly a reflection of the world we live in. A few days later (9th March) The New York Times run a comparison of machine translated texts from French, Spanish, Russian, German and Arabic into English and the quality obtained from several engines. The texts dealt with works of literature, which may well have been in the training material of the engines, but it also dealt with current affairs and news clips. Google presented a cell phone link to MT. Last week, the BBC conducted a new experiment to test how people and the media can make use and really broaden the horizons by using MT, even if only a in a very generalist way. MT users seemed happy with 80%-90% accuracy. A couple of findings I thought were […]