Machine translation expert predicts AGI in 2027 or 2028

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Machine translation expert predicts AGI in 2027 or 2028

Post by funkervogt »

The CEO of a machine translation company called "Translated" has discovered that computers are steadily getting better at translating text between languages, and that they will get as good as human experts sometime in 2027 or 2028. He believes that the task is so complex and requires such a level of knowledge that only an AGI will be able to do it. Therefore, the perfect translating machines we have in 2027 or 2028 must by definition be AGIs.

The CEO also mentions the "Singularity," though it seems this is merely a term he made up to describe the moment machines get as good at translation as human professionals.

I find his reasoning tenuous, though the article is worth a read. Selected quotes, followed by the link:
Language translation was one of the first challenges taken on by researchers in the domain of artificial intelligence (AI). It remains one of the most complex and difficult problems for a machine to perform at the level of a human. "That’s because language is the most natural thing for humans. Nonetheless, the data Translated collected clearly shows that machines are not that far from closing the gap," said Translated’s CEO Marco Trombetti at the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas 2022 conference, where he previewed our discovery during his opening keynote speech.

Many AI researchers believe that solving the language translation problem is the closest thing to producing Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). This is because natural language is by far the most complex problem we have in AI. It requires accurate modeling of reality in order to work, more so than any other narrow AI. Thus, the evidence that Translated has provided regarding the closing of the gap between what expert human translators and an optimized machine translation (MT) system can produce is quite possibly the most compelling evidence of success at scale seen in both the MT and AI communities.

...When plotted graphically, the TTE data shows a surprisingly linear trend. If this trend in TTE continues its decline at the same rate as it has since 2014, TTE is projected to decrease to one second within the next several years, approaching a point where MT would provide what could be called “a perfect translation.” This is the point of singularity at which the time top professionals spend checking a translation produced by the MT is not different from the time spent checking a translation produced by their colleagues which doesn't require any editing. The exact date of when this point will be reached may vary, but the trend is clear.

I think the better conclusions to draw from his trendline are:
1) Machines will get as fast and as accurate at human experts at translating text between languages by the end of 2028.
2) This level of technology will probably also allow machines to pass the Turing Test by the end of 2028.
3) Jobs for human translators will rapidly disappear starting around 2030.
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