Computers learn a new language

August 10th, 2005 by Gabriel Bodard

This story has implications for speech synthesis and language analysis. It would be great to see this applied to Latin or Greek via a corpus like the TLG.

(From New Scientist)

Computers learn a new language

• 06 August 2005

COMPUTER scientists have developed a program that can teach itself new languages. Feed it a piece of text, in any language, and the program analyses its structure and can then produce new, meaningful sentences.

Conventional translation software programs have all the rules of grammar coded into them. But the ADIOS (automatic distillation of structure) program, developed by researchers at Cornell University in New York and Tel Aviv University in Israel, infers the building blocks of a language using statistical and algebraic processes. The software learns the grammar of a new language by searching text for patterns. The researchers think the program will be useful in cognitive science and bioinformatics, as well as in applications such as voice recognition.

From issue 2511 of New Scientist magazine, 06 August 2005, page 23

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