Welcome to the Machine
A bleg of sorts concerning machine translation:
The European Patent Office (EPO) recently announced that it has reached an agreement with Google to machine-translate patents. As a semi-professional translator (not of patents thank God), I don’t know whether to laugh or cry: machine translation is just awful, useless in every regard (if patents themselves aren’t). Every professional translator knows this, yet somehow Google has convinced the world – and the world’s governments – that its machine translation technology has value other than as a simple reference tool (and a third-rate reference tool at that).
I’d like to write a full-length (10,000-words-plus) article about the EPO’s decision and try to get it published in a major magazine. Nevertheless, I’m sorely ignorant in more than a few relevant areas, namely international patent law and machine translation programming. I’d like to either consult with experts in these fields during the process of writing the article or – preferably – co-write the article with these experts and have all of our names appear in the by-line.
I figured I’d throw it out here on the sidebar at the League since we tend to collect the types of people who would have this kind of expert knowledge or who would at least know other people with this kind of expert knowledge, and I’m already kind of speculating on which of the commenters might be interested… so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in the project.
And of course, the replacement of human beings with machines is always interesting discussion fodder, so let the techo-accolades of techno-acolytes and the lamentations of Luddites commence in the form of comments.