Monday, 1 October 2012

Beware of the Cat

Couldn’t resist reproducing this (Comment by Clive Cookson - Financial Times) here.

‘Anyone who has used Google’s translation service to turn a foreign language web page into English will know how much help it still needs.

To test it, I requested an English translation of the French Wikipedia entry for chat (cat). Here is part of the response:

“It also means more familiarly by the cat pussy and pussy by pussy. This term, dating back from 1560, comes from mine, popular name of the cat in Gallo-Romance. This word is the origin of the expression ‘at the crack of dawn’, which means ‘good morning’.”

Admittedly, Google can do much better with its more specialised machine translation services. But even the most advanced technology for understanding, generating or translating human language by computer lags far behind the forecasts of AI (artificial intelligence) pioneers 30 or 40 years ago...’

So caveat emptor, or should it be cave canem or is that felis ?

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