Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Feb 2018 23:04 UTC, submitted by Morgan

Such a development would cause a soul-shattering upheaval in my mental life. Although I fully understand the fascination of trying to get machines to translate well, I am not in the least eager to see human translators replaced by inanimate machines. Indeed, the idea frightens and revolts me. To my mind, translation is an incredibly subtle art that draws constantly on one's many years of experience in life, and on one's creative imagination. If, some "fine" day, human translators were to become relics of the past, my respect for the human mind would be profoundly shaken, and the shock would leave me reeling with terrible confusion and immense, permanent sadness.

As a translator myself, I can indeed confirm Google Translate is complete and utter garbage, but the idea that I would "mourn" the end of translators seems outlandish to me. The unstoppable march of technology has eliminated countless jobs over the course of human existence, and if translators are next, I don't see any reason to mourn the end of my occupation. Of course, it'd suck for me personally, but that's about it.

That being said, I'm not afraid of running out of work any time soon. Google Translate's results are pretty terrible, and they only seem to be getting worse for me, instead of getting better. There's no doubt in my mind that machine translation will eventually get good enough, but I think it'll take at least another 20 years, if not more, to get there.

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"[q][q]... implying that human minds are NOT deterministic machines?

How can you be so sure?

A bold claim.

Humans are Turing complete and thus at least our termination is indeterminable.

That definition makes computers not deterministic. [/q]

Theoretical infinitely larger computers anyway. But yes, I believe computers can be programmed to be non-deterministic.

The difference is that humans are naturally non-deterministic and can be trained to work deterministic. While current computers are the other way. [/q]

Uh, no. This is provably false. You can make a machine which is non-deterministic. For example, you can use a radioactive sample to create a true hardware random number generator and incorporate it into the same enclosure as a computer. If you then program the computer to use the RNG, it's output will be non-deterministic. But the source of non-determinism is the quantum uncertainty of the radioactive sample, not the programming of the computer. You can not program a computer to be non-deterministic. Period. Full stop. Any claim to the contrary is either provably false or it is using one of the terms in a non standard way, such as referring to a computer plus hardware RNG device simply as a computer.

Whether or not human beings are non-deterministic is very much an open question.

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