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Meta's massive multilingual translation opus still stumbles on Greek, Armenian, Oromo

ZDNet

"Broadly accessible machine translation systems support around 130 languages; our goal is to bring this number up to 200," the authors write as their mission statement. Meta Properties, owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, on Wednesday unveiled its latest effort in machine translation, a 190-page opus describing how it has used deep learning forms of neural nets to double state-of-the-art translation for languages to 202 languages, many of them so-called "low resource" languages such as West Central Oromo, a language of the Oromia state of Ethiopia, Tamasheq, spoken in Algeria and several other parts of Northern Africa, and Waray, the language of the Waray people of the Philippines. The report by a team of researchers at Meta, along with scholars at UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins, "No Language Left Behind: Scaling Human-Centered Machine Translation," is posted on Facebook's AI research Web site, along with a companion blog post, and both should be required reading for the rich detail on the matter. "Broadly accessible machine translation systems support around 130 languages; our goal is to bring this number up to 200," they write as their mission statement. As Stephanie relates, Meta is open-sourcing its data sets and neural network model code on GitHub, and also offering $200,000 I'm awards to outside uses of the technology.