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Re: Planet of the New Papers

On 8/21/07, Michael Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com> wrote:
> No doubt translation software will improve enough by then to make it 
> inconsequential
> what language anything was originally written in.

I have to share Mike Taylor's dubiousness here. But I see something
similar as more likely. Computer formats are becoming increasingly
better at representing semantic entities. Once you have a semantic
concept coded as a computer language, it becomes much, much easier to
translate it into other forms, including natural languages, diagrams,
etc. I'm actually working on a project along those lines (to do with
phylogenetic definitions) and hopefully can say more in the near

> Ten years ago today, Babel Fish didn't exist,

Actually, it debuted pretty close to ten years ago. I remember using
it in the late '90s, in college.

>and none of the search engines had automatic translate options in their links.

Fair enough.

But I think Mike Taylor still has a point that, while it has become
much more *convenient* to use automated translation, automated
translation hasn't really gotten much *better*. At the very least,
it's certainly very far from being as good as a human translator, and
it will probably never be that good.
Mike Keesey