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The Korea Herald
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THE INVESTOR
May 28, 2024

Mobile & Internet

Google beats rivals in human vs. AI translation competition

  • PUBLISHED :February 22, 2017 - 18:06
  • UPDATED :February 22, 2017 - 18:06
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[THE INVESTOR] Google outpaced its machine rivals in a recent translation competition between humans and artificial intelligence language software held in Seoul on Feb. 21 that finished with the humans winning.

According to industry sources on Feb. 22, Google Translate earned the highest score of 28 points out of the total 60 points, while Naver’s Papago and Systran International’s namesake system received 17 and 15 points, respectively. 




Related: 
Google Translate vs. Naver Papago comparison


“It was quite surprising to see how advanced Google Translate was. I guess it is because of the company’s experience with AlphaGo,” an IT expert said. “Systran, which is more a translate company rather than a tech firm, showed relatively low skills.”

Google launched an advanced translate service in November 2016 that has drastically improved its translation ability based on its neural machine translation or NMT system. It is designed to translate 16 languages around the world.

Naver’s Papago, which launched in September, is also based on the NMT system that outpaced Systran, the world’s No. 1 translation company.

“Papago has a limit of less than 200 letters as it is still on its beta service,” a Naver official said.

Human translators earned 49 points but that was largely expected before the competition.

The competition was held without disclosing the names of each service. The evaluation results were revealed by word of mouth possibly due to the keen interest in the unprecedented event.

Hosted by the International Interpretation Translation Association, a group of four professional translators competed against the three AI programs.

They were tasked with translating random English articles – literature and non-literature – into Korean and other Korean articles into English. A total of 50 minutes were given and the translated works were evaluated by two professional translators.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)

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