Rashid said the neural networks system improves the way the machine learns, supplementing the statistical models. It reduces the error rate, which is typically around 20 to 25 percent, to 15 percent.
But it's not flawless, as Rashid's talk revealed. At one point, the text on the screen behind him said "about one air out of every four or five words," when the word he wanted was "error." About a minute and a half later, the text said, "Take the text that comes from my voice, input dot iii translation system. It really happen to stop." ("It takes the text that comes from my voice and puts it into the translation system. It really happens in two steps.")
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These are not big problems in themselves. The audience in Tianjin could, of course, hear Rashid speak and see the English text at the same time. Absent that, those parts of his speech wouldn't likely make sense in Chinese. English speakers all know that "error" and "air" sound similar and can correct for that in their heads. A computer can't, at least not yet. The accuracy was good enough that anyone who could not read or understand English could have followed along, even with the glitches.