A team of Microsoft researchers announced on Wednesday they’ve created the first machine translation system that’s capable of translating news articles from Chinese to English with the same accuracy as a person. The company says it’s tested the system repeatedly on a sample of around 2,000 sentences from various online newspapers, comparing the result to a person’s translation in the process – and even hiring outside bilingual language consultants to further verify the machine’s accuracy.
The sample set, called newstest2017, was released just last fall at the research conference WMT17.
It’s surprising, then, how quickly the researchers were able to achieve this milestone – especially given that machine translation is a problem people have been trying to solve for decades.
Many have even believed that the goal of human parity would never be realized, Microsoft notes.
“Hitting human parity in a machine translation task is a dream that all of us have had,”…