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Re: Planet of the New Papers

Michael Mortimer writes:
>> Mickey: here, in this public forum, I bet you $100 to $1000 that
>> translation software is still pants in ten years' time.  (I make
>> that predication based on the fact that roughly no progress has
>> been made in the last ten.)  Even if the technical problems were
>> solved, I don't see anyone in the next ten years building the
>> knowledge base necessary to translate Janensch's high technical
>> papers from their obsolete dialect of High German.
> Well, perhaps if we quantify "pants".... ;)

I admit that "pants" is a vague term.  What I mainly had in mind was
your claim that machine translation will "solve" the problem of papers
being in different languages.

> How can you say we've made roughly no progress in the last ten
> years?  Ten years ago today, Babel Fish didn't exist, and none of
> the search engines had automatic translate options in their links.

That's a matter of what technology has been made publicly and freely
available, not of what technology exists.  It's my understanding that
that Babelfish does for us on the web today is not dramatically
different from what similar systems were doing offline in 1997, or
indeed 1977.

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  It's hard to retro-fit correctness.