Why Computers Still Can’t Translate Languages Automatically – Slate Magazine

Recently, on the eighth floor of an office building in Arlington, Va., Rachael held her finger down on a Dell Streak touchscreen and asked Aziz whether he knew the village elder. The handheld tablet beeped as if imitating R2-D2 and then said what sounded like, “Aya tai ahili che dev kali musha.”

The software running on the tablet was the culmination of TransTac, a five-year effort run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to create a system for “speech to speech” translation…. [TransTac] set out to do something very hard: getting a computer to listen to a person speak in one language, translate that speech into another language, and pronounce it aloud. The dream of using computers to translate human language goes back to the very early days of computing, when computers still used vacuum tubes. But it has consistently proved elusive.

via DARPA’s TransTac, BOLT, and other machine translation programs search for meaning. – Slate Magazine.


Leave a comment

Filed under Extra! Extra!, The Science of Language

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s