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article imageGoogle Translate invents its own language

By Tim Sandle     Dec 4, 2016 in Technology
Google Translate has just got a whole lot smarter. The artificial intelligence platform has begun using a neural network to translate between different languages, and to do so it has invented its own language.
Google Translate is an on-line multilingual software translation service, operated by Google. The platform can translate text, speech, images, and video from one language into another. Currently Google Translate supports over 100 languages (albeit to varying degrees); some 200 million people use the service each day.
The platform is one of the first, and currently most advanced in terms of Google products, to use artificial intelligence. In a new development, the platform has learned to link language pairs on which it has not been explicitly trained to aid translation. It achieves this through being able to have developed its own language.
In the past Google Translate has used a process of breaking-down sentences into words and phrases, and then translating each individually. Google has now unveiled a new system for Google Translate that instead uses a neural network to process entire sentences at one tome. This is said to lead to more accurate translations because an entire sentence is given context.
By using its own language, New Scientist explains, Google Translate can translate between two languages when it has not been directly trained to do so. Remarkably the platform has achieved this by being able to learn and make decisions based on the information presented to it. As an example, the if the software is programmed to translate between English and Japanese, and then to translate between English and Korean, it is also capable of translating between Japanese and Korean, without first putting the words back through English.
This is achieved by taking sentences with the same meaning becoming represented in similar ways irrespective of the language. This is described as “interlingua” (a term for an international auxiliary language); and it happens through Google Translate creating a new common language. This is a language in a sense of being read and interpreted by the platform and not something that a human could make sense of.
More about Google Translate, Artifical intelligence, Translate, Computers
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