If it seems like Google Translate and Skype Translator have solved the language barrier, you’d be right, in the same sense that smoke signals solved long-distance communication. Machine translation much difficult still translate long way go to, as YouTuber Tom Scott explains.

As Scott points out, language is about far more than just communicating simple words: subtleties of meaning and context and culture shape conversations in ways that computers really struggle with.

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While natural-language processing is advanced enough to take on simple challenges — like taking corporate financial reports and turning them into prose, or creepily stalking your photos — computers still fail to translate The Very Hungry Caterpillar into German. [YouTube]


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