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Microsoft AI translates Chinese to English like humans

The researchers taught the system to repeat the process of translating the same sentence over and over

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Microsoft to pay $250,000 to help them catch chip bugs. Wikimedia Commons
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  • Microsoft creates a new kind of AI
  • This can translate Chinese to English just like humans
  • The translator makes little mistakes

A team of Microsoft researchers, including one of Indian-origin, has created an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered machine system that can translate sentences of news articles from Chinese to English with the same quality and accuracy as humans.

Researchers from the company’s Asia and US labs said their system achieved human parity on a commonly-used test set of news stories — called “newstest2017” — that was released at a conference recently, a blog post said late on Wednesday.

Microsoft acquired the start-up PlayFab. Pixabay
This Ai can expertly translate Chinese into English. Pixabay

According to Arul Menezes, an IIT-Bombay alumni and Partner Research Manager of Microsoft’s machine translation team, the team set out to prove that its systems could perform about as well as a person when it used a language pair — like Chinese to English — for which there is a lot of data.

“Given the best-case situation as far as data and availability of resources goes, we wanted to find out if we could actually match the performance of a professional human translator,” said Menezes.

To ensure the results were both accurate and at par with what people would have done, the team hired external bilingual human evaluators who compared Microsoft’s results to two independently produced human reference translations.

“Hitting human parity in a machine translation task is a dream that all of us have had. We just did not realise we would be able to hit it so soon,” said Xuedong Huang, Technical Fellow in charge of Microsoft’s speech, natural language and machine translation efforts.

Also Read: Microsoft Teams to have Cortana integration, other features

To reach the human parity milestone on this dataset, three research teams in Microsoft’s Beijing and Redmond, Washington, research labs worked together to make the system more accurate.

“Much of our research is really inspired by how we humans do things,” said Tie-Yan Liu, Principal Research Manager with Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing.

The team used dual-learning method. Every time they sent a sentence through the system to be translated from Chinese to English, the research team also translated it back from English to Chinese.

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The accuracy rate is high too. Wikimedia

That’s similar to what people might do to make sure that their automated translations were accurate, and it allowed the system to refine and learn from its own mistakes. Dual learning, which was developed by the Microsoft research team, can also be used to improve results in other AI tasks.

Another method, called deliberation networks, is similar to how people edit and revise their own writing by going through it again and again. The researchers taught the system to repeat the process of translating the same sentence over and over, gradually refining and improving the response, Microsoft said. IANS

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Microsoft Will Become an AI First Industry,Will Improve Lives, Says CEO

"It's happening because of the ability to provision lots of compute capability, to have lots of data, and these new techniques of algorithm promise around deep neural net in particular," Nadella said

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"Autonomy is not just about a few self-driving projects. This is about autonomy everywhere," the Microsoft CEO. (Wikimedia Commons)

Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been “pretty stunning” but what the humanity is going to see soon will be even more profound across the spectrum, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has stressed.

Addressing thousands of partners at the ‘Microsoft Inspire’ event here on Wednesday, Nadella said that the potential is for us to be able to turn every industry into an AI-first industry, be it retail, healthcare or agriculture.

“Microsoft has been working on fundamental AI breakthroughs for over 20 years and some of the advances, especially as measured by our ability to have human parity in a lot of these perception and language capabilities is pretty stunning.

“It’s happening because of the ability to provision lots of compute capability, to have lots of data, and these new techniques of algorithm promise around deep neural net in particular,” Nadella said.

“For us to be able to turn every industry into an AI-first industry, whether it’s retail or healthcare or agriculture, we want to be able to make sure that they can take their data, in a security-privacy preserving way, convert that into AI capability that they get the return on. That’s really the objective,” the Microsoft CEO emphasised.

Wherever there is data, compute will migrate to data.

“So we are going and taking Azure to Azure Stack, to Azure IoT Edge, to Azure Sphere. This is that one ubiquitous distributed computing fabric. One programming model that is event-driven, serverless, so you can write an application that truly works across all of this,” Nadella explained.

“As we look forward, the opportunity for us to serve our customers in this new era of the Intelligent Cloud and the Intelligent Edge is far greater,” he added.

Microsoft
Microsoft has been working on fundamental AI breakthroughs for over 20 years .

According to him, Microsoft is going to infuse everything with AI.

“It’s going to have perception capability, language capability and autonomy that’s going to be built into the applications going forward.

“Autonomy is not just about a few self-driving projects. This is about autonomy everywhere,” the Microsoft CEO added.

Walmart is using Azure as well as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365. The cash-and-carry major announced a five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft on July 17.

Walmart will now embark on a broad set of Cloud innovation projects that leverage Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data platform solutions for a wide range of external customer-facing services and internal business applications.

“They are innovating in retail. They have an amazing presence in offline. And they have good momentum in their online efforts with Jeff and Walmart.com,” Nadella told the gathering.

Also Read-Microsoft Launches Affordable ‘Surface Go’ Tablet

He said that Microsoft 365 will help customers have people-centred experiences rather than device-centred experiences.

The tech giant which has touched $800 billion valuation for the first time, was set to release its quarterly results late on Thursday. (IANS LIVE)