Friday, April 15, 2005

Are Chatter bots here to stay?

Chatter bots are robots capable of having a conversation with some-(human)-body. The attempt is not new as related in this (French speaking) page. Trying to make a computer speak (and answer) to a human is somehow like trying to make that same computer translate from one human language to another : a serious attempt, lots of research, some success, results that generate other questions, trying to find out how that human language works and why it seems so difficult to imitate it with a machine. So, is solving the Chatter bot problem like solving the translation problem : an impossible task? What do you think? What do we do until someone finds the solution?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Why MT (Machine Translation) can only help

You have for sure tried machine translation services, such as Google language tools or Altavista Babel Fish Translation. If you have not, make a try at one of the two above, and why not comment here about your findings? If your conclusion is :
Machine translation can help
then your are probably looking for a rough translation Microsoft offers also some kind of machine translation for its support pages. See for instance Windows Installer 3.1 is available and its French translation Windows Installer 3.1 est disponible. So Machine Translation helps, but as Microsoft wisely says above "use at your own risk" of mis-understanding the real meaning of the original text. What good uses do you see for Machine Translation?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Building a web translation system

I am currently developping a web translation system. ... Yet another one you would say ... quite right ... There are some special things about it though:
  1. Targets professional quality translation, not machine translation (although MT can help).
  2. Tries to be as automated as possible.
    • You download your web pages to the system.
    • Your web pages are analyzed to locate your messages.
    • Translations for your messages are looked up in a data base.
    • New web pages are automatically generated containing the translations.
    • You upload the newly translated web pages to your site.
  3. What if some of the messages are not translated?
    • A professional translator is contacted to perform the translation
    • You are contacted when the translation is finished.
    • You upload the newly translated pages again.
Express your views on what I am trying to do.