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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in human language project
Last week I was suddenly reminded of a story a friend of mine had told me years ago. It went something like this:   “I went to visit two friends. A Tanzanian couple. At one point their daughter entered the room and asked her mother a question – in French. This I found weird, since most Tanzanians don’t speak French. They speak Kiswahili or English, but not French. I was even more surprised when I heard her mother reply in French too. Struck by this linguistic peculiarity, I asked my friends why they spoke French with their children. They explained it...
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After decades of funding of European research in language and translation technology, the new European Commission wants to turn off the money tap. European researchers are staggering and they wonder why. One theory is that the politicians feel it is money wasted. Despite a diligent European investment program in machine translation, US corporations seem to have won that battle. Let Google and Microsoft run with it, you hear Andrus Ansip thinking. Ansip is Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Single Market. He’s got a lot more on his plate. He will be held accountable for a rapid...
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When Albert Einstein said: “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”, he was referring neither to the internet nor to localization. Today the language community is facing one of its most serious threats and should pay attention to Einstein’s famous quote. The need to adapt to a new monetization reality is indisputable and the trend of Collaborative Commons is the new enabler. Jeremy Rifkin in his new book “The Zero Marginal Cost Society” states that our economic and social systems are rapidly transforming into Collaborative Commons with far-reaching implications.   The imperatives of technological change are so overwhelming in...
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Or Time is on our Side Sometimes it is very rewarding to think in terms of decades, centuries and millennia. Not in a fatalistic way, like ‘in the long run we are all dead’. But in a positive way, thinking that there is direction and meaning in what we do. Psychologists say that our brains are mostly occupied by sex, what we eat, what we wear and now… what we share, on Facebook, all on the same day. You can’t erase the evolution from our body and our brains. In the beginning we were hunters. At work we have become farmers,...
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Director Ben Preston has made a film called Google and the World Brain which recounts the tech Titan’s effort to digitize “knowledge” as textual information by scanning lots of ‘great’ books. Brain it is obviously not (the laughable idea of a brain as a text collection goes back to the British writer H. G. Wells in the 1930s); repository it certainly is.  We’ve all been aware of the grand ambitions (and legal conundra) of Google’s resource-building effort for several years now. And we know that it will ultimately help the TAUS Human Language Project to grow a base of searchable text...
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