Back in September, Google announced that its Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) that is powering Google Translate has gone live. Built on a neural network, the legendary Google Translate will now produce more natural and better translation between languages.
As neural network can learn from past actions to solve new problems, even if it’s not previously programmed to do so, that makes the GNMT creators curious about something. What if the Google translate could translate between two languages even those weren’t paired by the system previously? And, thanks to machine learning, the answer is yes. It can actually generate reasonable translations between two languages without resorting to another language as a bridge between them. The method is called zero-shot.
Researchers explained in a blog post how this works:
“Let’s say we train a multilingual system with Japanese to English and Korean to English examples… [GNMT] shares its parameters to translate between these four different language pairs… It can generate reasonable Korean to Japanese translations, even though it has never been taught to do so… To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time this type of transfer learning has worked in Machine Translation.”
The new and, obviously artificially intelligent Google Translate is live now. Like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, Google also unveiled its own virtual assistant earlier this year. Powering its translation service with neural network is just another move by Google towards artificial intelligence.