Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning

A machine-learning system capable of deciphering lost languages has been devised by Jiaming Luo and Regina Barzilay from MIT and Yuan Cao from Google’s AI lab in Mountain View, California. It has successfully deciphered Linear B—the first time this has been done automatically.

A couple of years ago, a German team of researchers showed how [an] approach with much smaller databases could help translate much rarer languages that lack the big databases of text. The trick is to find a different way to constrain the machine approach that doesn’t rely on the database.

Now Luo and co have gone further to show how machine translation can decipher languages that have been lost entirely. The constraint they use has to do with the way languages are known to evolve over time.

The idea is that any language can change in only certain ways—for example, the symbols in related languages appear with similar distributions, related words have the same order of characters, and so on. With these rules constraining the machine, it becomes much easier to decipher a language, provided the progenitor language is known.

(Via Technology Review.)

This seems like a pretty good implementation of the translator discs from science fiction writer Larry Niven's magisterial 1970 novel Ringworld:

"Stay on your vehicles," Speaker ordered in a low voice. "Wait until they reach us. Then dismount. I assume we are all wearing our communicator discs?"

Louis wore his inside his left wrist. The discs were linked to the autopilot aboard the Liar. They should work over such a distance, and the Liar's autopilot should be able to translate any new language...

The tattooed one made a short speech. That was luck. The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...

Presently the discs were filling in words and phrases... His voice was almost a chant, almost a recital of poetry. The autopilot was translating Louis's words into a similar chant, though it spoke to Louis in a conversational tone. Louis could hear the other translator discs whistling softly in Puppeteer, snarling quietly in the Hero's Tongue.

Compare to translatophone (1901) by Frank Stockton, the Babel fish from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) by Douglas Adams and Language Rectifier from Ralph 124c 41 + (1911) by Hugo Gernsback.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/23/2019)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Communication ")

Zoom Adds Real-Time, Live Translation
'He immediately turned the small shining disc of the Language Rectifier..' - Hugo Gernsback, 1911.

Will The Super Bowl Go To Pay Per View?
'...this afternoon’s football game cost each person who had one of the television screens one dollar for the privilege.' - Dr. David H. Keller, 1929.

SpaceX Requests Starlink For Starship
'... sweating, heat-blistered engineers at every interplanetary radiograph station on three planets.' - Harry Gore Bishop, 1907.

Drones Communicate With Each Other Using Quantum Encryption
'the curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits...' - Frederik Pohl, 1954.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Omni Hoverboard Envy Of Green Goblin
'I brought it back to the ship, charged it up, reprogrammed the inertia chips and voila!'

Jetson ONE Speeds Through The Forest
'Over there! Two more of them!'

Facebook's Algorithmic News Feed Knows Better Than You Do
'Their playmates were not “real,” but they were a lot realer than, say, a Betsy-Wetsy doll.'

Tselina Spacecraft Platform Destroyed In Russian Anti-Satellite Test
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Burro Robot Follows You And Gets Smarter
'Oh, there you are! the balloon piped at the amorphous mass of living tissue...'

Tiangong Space Station! Exercise Like It's 1953
'He couldn't imitate actual gravity, of course...'

Facebook Unexpectedly Turns Away From Sfnal Face Recognition
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Taihang Solar Farm Accurately Pictured In 1911
'The entire expanse, twenty kilometers square, was covered ... the photo-electric elements which transformed the solar heat direct into electric energy.'

Galaxy Z Fold 3 Perfect For William Gibson's 'Control-Face'
'Chia recognized the square as the control-face of the computer she'd seen in his room.'

Amazon Automatic Packaging Catches Up With Gernsback's 1911 Book
'The automatic packing machine could pack anything from a small package a few inches square up to a box two feet high by three feet long.'

Your Car Will Be Watching You!
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive...'

Orbital Reef: Bezos' High Orbit Archipelago
'Tessier-Ashpool ascended to high orbit's archipelago to find the ecliptic sparsely marked with military stations and the first automated factories of the cartels.'

Best Space Tacos Made From ISS-Grown Chilis
That's some spicy tacos.

Poor Humans. Miami Herald Bot Writes Great Real Estate Articles.
'Nothing of news-interest escape it...'

International Space Mission Never Leaves Earth
'That gives it complete isolation.'

Seriously, Was Our Universe Created In A Lab?
'It is an instrument with which I am going to create a microcosm.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.