Some interesting quotes from a book

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Some interesting quotes from a book

Postby Woravut » 20 Jun 2019 08:01

I have been reading a book entitled Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman, and found some interesting quotes that I'd like to share with you.

“When IBM first started to develop translation software, he explained, it created a team to develop an algorithm that could translate from English to Spanish. “We thought the best way to do that was to hire all kinds of linguists who would teach us grammar, and once we understand the nature of language we would figure how to write a translation program,” said Gil. It didn’t work. After going through a lot of linguists. IBM got rid of them all and tried a different approach.
“This time, we said, ‘What if we took a statistical approach and just take two texts translated by humans and compare them and see which one is most accurate?’ And since computing and storage power had exploded in 2007, the capacity to do so was suddenly there. It led IBM to a fundamental insight: “Every time we got rid of a linguist, our accuracy went up,” Said Gil. “So now all we use are statistical algorithms” that can compare massive amounts of texts for repeatable patterns.

Reflecting on this and an encounter in year 2019 between a hostel receptionist (who cannot speak English but use a kind of pocket translating device) and me in Taiwan, I just wonder roles of English teachers and linguists in the near future, especially with GOOGLE TRANSLATE (with its ability to translate is getter better and better in terms of accuracy).

What do you think?
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