Computers That Can Paraphrase

from the who-needs-writers? dept

If you read enough news articles, you begin to notice certain similarities and patterns, such that certain lines practically write themselves. Now, some computer science researchers are working on a program that might write those sentences itself. Actually, the system is designed to take news articles and try to paraphrase them. With simple, straightforward, short articles it appears to do a pretty good job, but can’t handle longer or more complex stories. Certainly seems like an interesting project that has a variety of potential uses, from creating automated summaries of stories to providing alternative phrasing. Just imagine, a few years from now, instead of just having spell check, grammar checks and thesauruses, you might be able to replace whole phrases in Word documents with suggested alternatives, making our writing blander than ever before.

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Comments on “Computers That Can Paraphrase”

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sylvie chen says:

computational linguistics

Being able to reparaphrase a sentence automatically with a computer could be a very useful tool for smoking plagiarism to cover your trail of sources. However, a more telling example of the limitations of computational linguistics and translation can be found in experimenting with Babelfish.

[1] take a passage in English and translate it to another language. Pass back and forth juggling the results between the two languages.

[2]take same passage and do a stir-fry by passing from one language to the next without reusing a language. Pass result back to original language.

Here is an example of [juggling] after 5 iterations of english to spanish and back

original phrase: When I ride a horse backwards, the view is what the horse chose to see. So what I see is what the horse has seen and not the reverse

result:When amount a horse the other way around, the vision is what the horse chose to see. What I see is so what it has seen the horse and not the misfortune

Here is an example of stir-fry] starting with same english passage, translating to german to french back to english 3 times

result:When amount A horse the OTHER way around, the vision is what the horse chose ton lake. What I lake is so what it has lakes the horse and emergency the misfortune

You can try this yourself at:

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