back to article Google goes bilingual, Facebook fleshes out translation and TensorFlow is dope

Hello, here's a quick roundup of what's been happening in the world of AI. Google has a new framework to help researchers develop reinforcement learning algorithms, and Google Assistant is now bilingual. Also watch how Microsoft's Azure Machine Learning Studio is helping Japanese fish farmers. Unsupervised machine translation …

  1. Notas Badoff

    Google Assistant is bilingual

    At least for most of those 'no' means 'no'.

    What are they going to do when one of the pair of languages is Greek, where 'no' sounds like 'okay' and 'yes' sounds like 'nay'?

    1. David 164 Bronze badge

      Re: Google Assistant is bilingual

      Hope the word before or after no is easily identifiable as greek by the system. Google assistant can recognise different people voices, so perhaps it will build a profile of which language a person uses the most in the household and use that to give it direction on what the user want it to do.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: Google Assistant is bilingual

      Written or oral?

      Right now if you have good Thai to English and English to Tamil, or Welsh, You can translate. You don't need to go direct, but to an intermediate universal language.

      But to your point. You need to take it in context.

      Where you have trouble is understanding idioms or slang expressions that are based on cultural contexts.

  2. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Fish brutalised through plastic tubes - one of the wonders of machine learning.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      First they came for the fish and I said nothing . . .

  3. BongoJoe


    Could be handy for translating between Cymraeg Gogledd and Cymraeg Da -- that'll be North Welsh and South Welsh, which would be handy for those BBC dramas who insist on using the wrong language (not dialect) when they're doing productions up in Snowdonia.

    Though, of course, I wouldn't say that Cymaeg Gogledd is a rare language: unless, of course, one is using the numbers given to us by those in Whitehall which seems, strangely, a lot less than the actual figure spoken.

    Yours in the pub speaking Welsh well before you walked in the door. And I mean about 2,000 years before you walked in...

    1. Named coward

      Re: Welsh?

      "A language is a dialect with an army and navy"

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: Welsh?

        The way that things are going, then, the English is going to be simply a dialect.

  4. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Help me sort these fish

    Now if they had asked Embarcadero née Borland, they would have been able to do this straight away with just a few clicks.

  5. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Scientific Research

    They'll need a mighty big tube to get some of those, em, fish needed for, em, scientific research through.

    Kujiraniku ha oishii ne!

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "using a combination of various new and old techniques, such as adversarial training"

    Adversarial training ?

    They whip the AI until it gets it right ?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So there ere over 200 languages spoken in the U.S.

    I see a whole bunch of people being left out.

  8. James 51 Silver badge

    It might understand English and French, but does it understand Franglish?

  9. MJB7


    A friend's daughter can (could - this is probably 20 years ago now) speak Urdu because she spent so much time playing with her best friend that she picked it up from the best friend's mother (who didn't speak English).

    I imagine there is quite of a bit of local authority material written in both English and Urdu.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Urdu?

      Pretty sure there's a lot of English-Hindi material. Urdu and Hindi, what's the difference?

      1. Paul Johnston

        Re: Urdu?

        Short answer the way they are written, Hindi in an "Indian" script, Urdu in a "Perso-Arabic" script.

        Long contentious argument Hindi is spoken by Indians, Urdu by Pakistanis so they must be totally different. Think Kurdish v Turkish where both sides have nuclear weapons hence icon.

        Interestingly all the languages mentioned are classed as Indo-European so theoretically from similar roots.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the spirit of "Darwin Among the Machines" (you got that book, right? RIGHT?)

    Book tour for "Plato and the Nerd"

    TU Wien: Introductory presentation of "Plato and the Nerd" by Edward A. Lee

    (Picked up from here)

    (Further afield: A Vision for Responsible Participant Design; not too sure what to make of this.)

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