Machine Translation Turing Test

Machine Translation
Will computers ever reach the quality of professional translators?

The U.S. government spent 4.5 billion USD from 1990 through 2009 on outsourcing translations and interpretations [4]. If these translations were automated, much of this money could have been spent elsewhere. The research field of Machine Translation (MT) tries to develop systems capable of translating verbal language (i.e. speech and writing) from a certain source language to a target language.

Because verbal language is broad, allowing people to express a great number of things, one must take into account many factors when translating text from a source language to a target language. Three main difficulties when translating are proposed in [6]: the translator must distinguish between general vocabulary and specialized terms, as well as various possible meanings of a word or phrase, and must take into account the context of the source text.

Machine Translation systems must overcome the same obstacles as professional human translators in order to accurately translate text. To try to achieve this, researchers have had a variety of approaches over the past decades, such as [3, 2, 5]. At first, the knowledge-based paradigm was dominant. After promising results on a statistical-based system ([2, 1]), the focus shifted towards this new paradigm.

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References

  • [1] P. F. Brown, V. D. J. Pietra, S. D. A. Pietra, and R. L. Mercer, “The mathematics of statistical machine translation: parameter estimation,” Computational linguistics, vol. 19, iss. 2, pp. 263-311, 1993.
    [Bibtex]
    @article{Brown1993,
    title={The mathematics of statistical machine translation: Parameter estimation},
    author={Brown, Peter F and Pietra, Vincent J Della and Pietra, Stephen A Della and Mercer, Robert L},
    journal={Computational linguistics},
    volume={19},
    number={2},
    pages={263--311},
    year={1993},
    publisher={MIT Press}
    }
  • [2] P. F. Brown, J. Cocke, S. D. A. Pietra, V. D. J. Pietra, F. Jelinek, J. D. Lafferty, R. L. Mercer, and P. S. Roossin, “A statistical approach to machine translation,” Computational linguistics, vol. 16, iss. 2, pp. 79-85, 1990.
    [Bibtex]
    @article{Brown1990,
    title={A statistical approach to machine translation},
    author={Brown, Peter F and Cocke, John and Pietra, Stephen A Della and Pietra, Vincent J Della and Jelinek, Fredrick and Lafferty, John D and Mercer, Robert L and Roossin, Paul S},
    journal={Computational linguistics},
    volume={16},
    number={2},
    pages={79--85},
    year={1990},
    publisher={MIT Press}
    }
  • [3] D. A. Gachot, “The systran renaissance,” in Mt summit ii, 1989, pp. 66-71.
    [Bibtex]
    @inproceedings{Gachot1989,
    title={The SYSTRAN renaissance},
    author={Gachot, Denis A},
    booktitle={MT SUMMIT II},
    pages={66--71},
    year={1989}
    }
  • [4] D. Isenberg, Translating For Dollars, 2010.
    [Bibtex]
    @misc{USSpend,
    author = {David Isenberg},
    title = {{Translating For Dollars}},
    howpublished = "\url{http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-isenberg/translating-for-dollars_b_735752.html}",
    year = {2010},
    note = "[Online; accessed 2-October-2013]"
    }
  • [5] P. Koehn, F. J. Och, and D. Marcu, “Statistical phrase-based translation,” in Proceedings of the 2003 conference of the north american chapter of the association for computational linguistics on human language technology-volume 1, 2003, pp. 48-54.
    [Bibtex]
    @inproceedings{Koehn2003,
    title={Statistical phrase-based translation},
    author={Koehn, Philipp and Och, Franz Josef and Marcu, Daniel},
    booktitle={Proceedings of the 2003 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics on Human Language Technology-Volume 1},
    pages={48--54},
    year={2003},
    organization={Association for Computational Linguistics}
    }
  • [6] A. K. Melby, Some difficulties in translation, 1999.
    [Bibtex]
    @misc{TTT1999,
    author = {Alan K. Melby},
    title = {{Some difficulties in translation}},
    howpublished = "\url{http://www.ttt.org/theory/difficulties.html}",
    year = {1999},
    note = "[Online; accessed 2-October-2013]"
    }