Machine translation

AI translation rooted in not-so-deep learning

It is January 7, 1954. A select group assembles at the offices of the International Business Machines Corp to witness the first public demonstration of machine translation. The IBM 701, the company’s first commercial scientific computer, filled a whole room. With a memory capacity of…

Why AI still struggles to learn languages

Common sense would tell us that it is necessary to understand a text in order to translate it. So can an artificial intelligence system actually understand a text in the same sense a human being can?  The simplest approach to translation would be simply to…

AI tries to learn English

From the very beginning, language has been central to AI’s effort to imitate the human mind. As I mentioned in the last installment, “mind” per se is a nebulous and slippery concept. Without some sort of structure, artificial intelligence has nothing to work with, nothing…

The problem with symbolic AI

So-called symbolic artificial intelligence aims at imitating the human mind, rather than the brain as a physical system.  But what is the mind? The concept is nebulous and not only difficult but perhaps even impossible to define.  To be sure, “mind” should include, in addition…

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