Google Brain’s Neural Network AI has reportedly created its own universal language, which allows the system to translate between other languages without knowing them.

By simply teaching the AI “how to translate from Portuguese to English and English to Spanish,” the system was able to then translate from Spanish to Portuguese on its own without any outside guidance.

“In the last 10 years, Google Translate has grown from supporting just a few languages to 103, translating over 140 billion words every day,” declared Google in their research blog. “To make this possible, we needed to build and maintain many different systems in order to translate between any two languages, incurring significant computational cost. With neural networks reforming many fields, we were convinced we could raise the translation quality further, but doing so would mean rethinking the technology behind Google Translate.”

“In ‘Google’s Multilingual Neural Machine Translation System: Enabling Zero-Shot Translation,’ we address this challenge by extending our previous GNMT system, allowing for a single system to translate between multiple languages,” they continued. “Our proposed architecture requires no change in the base GNMT system, but instead uses an additional ‘token’ at the beginning of the input sentence to specify the required target language to translate to. In addition to improving translation quality, our method also enables ‘Zero-Shot Translation’ — translation between language pairs never seen explicitly by the system.”

“The described Multilingual Google Neural Machine Translation system is running in production today for all Google Translate users,” Google concluded. “Multilingual systems are currently used to serve 10 of the recently launched 16 language pairs, resulting in improved quality and a simplified production architecture.”

“Theoretically, Google Brain’s systems can learn any language, without lessons,” explained the Inquirer’s Chris Merriman.

You can check out Google’s advanced translation features by clicking on this link.

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