Found in Translation

May 30, 2022Philosophy/Ethics, Tech0 comments

Whereas perfect algorithms (or working rules) were available for the performance of the elementary arithmetical and logical operations, … no such algorithms were in existence for translation
Moreover, whereas the notion of a “correct” computation is unproblematic … the notion of a “good” translation is ridden with problems

Bar-Hillel 1962

Julia and John are talking about the following article:
Machine translation

In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters

Julia

I might have a good analogy!                                                                   

Today 17:08

John

Ok, let’s hear it then … 😊

Today 17:09

Julia

Perhaps we can compare it to machine translation 😊                      

Today 17:09

John

Interesting, in what way?

Today 17:10

Julia

I read somewhere that the classical approach to automating translation was to analyze every sentence according to its grammatical structure “Rule-based machine translation

Today 17:11

Julia

Find the subject, object, verb, and everything else, with their gender, number, aspect, tense, etc.  

Today 17:11

Julia

and then the translation program replaces them with their equivalent in the target language, keeping their relations the same.

Today 17:11

John

And we can compare that to the explicit programming of the laws of thought approach, right?

Today 17:12 

Julia

Indeed! But the alternative is to simply use an enormous amount of data, of translated samples, to generalize and learn through statistics

Today 17:12

John

Which is like the implicit approach? Where the rules don’t matter as long as it comes out right?

Today 17:13 

Julia

Yes, broadly. The analogy is not perfect, but I think it might help.

Today 17:14

John

I guess most people are familiar with automatic translation nowadays

Today 17:15 

Julia

That’s also why I picked this particular example                                   

Today 17:15

John

But which approach do the popular free on-line tools use?

Today 17:16 

Julia

To the best of my knowledge, they all use the statistical approach

Today 17:16

John

Very good, then we have an example that everyone can check out

Today 17:17   

Julia

This has been very interesting and instructive, thanks again for the opportunity of collaborating on this!

Today 17:18

John

Oh, well thanks to you for doing your share and more!

Today 17:18   

Julia

I look forward to doing this again sometime                                         

Today 17:19

John

Absolutely, I’ll keep you posted!

Today 17:19   

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Monday …

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