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Facebook Translation Services Now Use AI-Based Neural Networks Instead

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   Facebook Translation Services Now Use AI-Based Neural Networks Instead

To improve the quality of translations on its platform, Facebook has infused artificial intelligence
(AI) into its translation services that account for more than 2,000
translation directions and 4.5 billion translations each day.
With over two billion users, Facebook supports over 45 languages.
“We
recently switched from using phrase-based machine translation models to
neural networks to power all of our back-end translation systems,” the
company said in a blog post late on Thursday.
“These
new models provide more accurate and fluent translations, improving
people’s experience consuming Facebook content that is not written in
their preferred language,” it added.
According to Facebook, their previous phrase-based statistical techniques were useful but they also had limitations.
“One
of the main drawbacks of phrase-based systems is that they break down
sentences into individual words or phrases, and, thus, when producing
translations, they can consider only several words at a time,” the
researchers said.
facebook ai neural translation facebook
This leads to difficulty translating between languages with markedly different word orderings.
To
remedy this and build our neural network systems, Facebook started with
a type of recurrent neural network known as sequence-to-sequence LSTM
(long short-term memory) with attention.
Such a network can take
into account the entire context of the source sentence and everything
generated so far, to create more accurate and fluent translations.
“With
the new system, we saw an average relative increase of 11 percent in
BLEU ((bilingual evaluation understudy) – a widely used metric for
judging the accuracy of machine translation – across all languages
compared with the phrase-based systems,” the team noted.
The
Facebook AI Research (FAIR) team recently published research on using
convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for machine translation.
“We
worked closely with FAIR to bring this technology from research to
production systems for the first time, which took less than three
months,” the blog post read.
FAIR was recently in news for reportedly shutting down one of its AI systems as chatbots defied the human-generated algorithms and started communicating in their own language.
FAIR team later denied such reports,
saying that that while the idea of AI agents inventing their own
language may sound alarming/unexpected to people outside the field, it
is a well-established sub-field of AI, with publications dating back
decades.
“Simply put, agents in environments attempting to solve a
task will often find unintuitive ways to maximize reward. Analysing the
reward function and changing the parameters of an experiment is NOT the
same as ‘unplugging’ or ‘shutting down AI’,” FAIR researcher Dhruv
Batra said in the post.

“If that were the case, every AI researcher has been ‘shutting down AI’ every time they kill a job on a machine,” he added.
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