Computers can beat chess champion, count all the atoms in a nuclear explosion, and calculate complex figures in a fraction of a second, but they still fail at the slight differences in language translation. Artificial Intelligence (人工智能) computers have large amounts of memory, capable of storing huge translating dictionaries and extensive lists of grammar rules. Yet, today’s best computer language translators have just a 60 percent accuracy rate. Scientists are still unable to program the computer with human-like common sense reasoning power.
Computer language translation is called Machine Translation, or MT. While not perfect, MT is surprisingly good. MT was designed to process dry, technical language that people find tedious (乏味的) to translate. Computers can translate basic phrases such as “Your foot bone is connected to your ankle bone.” They can translate more difficult phrases such as “Which witch is which”. Computers can also accurately translate “Wild thing, you make my heart sing” into other languages, because they can understand individual words, as long as the words are pre-programmed in their dictionary.
But highly sensitive types of translating, such as important diplomatic conversations, are beyond the scope of computer translating programs. Human translators use intuitional meaning, not only logic, to process words and phrases into other languages. A human can properly translate the phrase “The pen is in the pen”, because most humans know that it means that a writing instrument is in a small enclosed space, while computers do not have the ability to determine the way in which two identical words in one sentence are to be used.
In addition to using massive rule-programmed machines to make machine translation better, computer programmers are also trying to teach computers to learn how to think for
themselves through the “experience” of translating. Even with these efforts, programmers admit that a “thinking” computer might not ever be invented in the future.
26. Which of the following can today’s computers do according to the passage?
A. Translating over 60% of a text precisely.
B. Telling tiny differences between languages.
C. Working out complicated calculations in a very short time.
D. Making human-like common sense inference.
27. We can infer from the passage that computers are unable to ______.
A. translate some dull and basic phrases
B. understand words which are pre-programmed
C. translate technical language
D. understand language which is sensitive
28. What is the difference between computer translators and human translators?
A. The former can’t use instinct to process language.
B. The former can’t use logic to translate language.
C. The former can’t translate according to grammatical rules.
D. The former can’t understand difficult sentences precisely.
29. What effort are computer programmers making to improve machine translation?
A. Inventing more powerful rule-programmed computers.
B. Teaching computers to think by themselves through practice.
C. Having computers translate only simple phrases and sentences.
D. Adding explanations to words pre-programmed in computers.
30. What do computer programmers think of the prospect of machine translation?
A. Computers may never think as humans do.
B. There’s no way to make computers translate more accurately.
C. Computers may catch up with humans through learning how to think.
D. A “thinking” computer will be invented in the near future.