Goggle Works to Understand Language

April 27, 2018

Back in the day, Google used to do this annoying thing that if you were searching in a foreign language it would translate the word into English. It was difficult to search for foreign language Web sites using Google, unless you went to one of the foreign language Web site endings. Google eventually fixed the “feature”, but the search engine giant is doing something new with searches and translation. Google Translate now tries to understand query text meanings and build responses using natural language.

Forward.com has more information on the new development in the article, “Google Translate For Yiddish? It Ain’t Work Bupkis.” After a brief history lesson about psychologist Frank Rosenblatt and how an AI finally beat world go champion Ke Kie, we finally get into the how of the new Google Translate. The new neural network is a great upgrade, but here are the bugs:

“Although Google Translate’s new approach sounds like a giant leap forward it creates all sorts of problems. To begin with every text must first be translated into English before it can be rendered into another language. Secondly, instead of warning that it doesn’t recognize a certain word the new system automatically inserts its own “creative” meanings in a second-rate imitation of human neural processing.”

In other words, Google Translate still does not have the human comprehension necessary to translate words and sentences accurately to the satisfaction of a person familiar with a language’s nuances. The human mind is still the better language tool and if you are translating using Google Translate, especially Yiddish, keep a dictionary on hand.

Whitney Grace, April 27, 2018


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